Posts tagged ‘Middle East’
Vodafone Qatar’s CEO Grahame Maher has told the Gulf Times that the start-up is still awaiting approval from the Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) for an initial public offering (IPO), a pre-requisite for launching services in the country. Vodafone Qatar plans to launch GSM-based mobile services for 1,000 trial users on 1 March, but has not agreed a firm date for an IPO of 40% of its shares, which it previously said should go ahead sometime this month. Maher also told the paper that he was confident that outstanding issues with the state’s current sole operator Qatar Telecom (Qtel), including interconnection charges, would be resolved by the start of March.
UAE-based operator Etisalat has signed an agreement to sell Apple’s iPhone 3G mobile phone in the United Arab Emirates from later this month. The operator will simultaneously launch the device in Saudi Arabia through its operator there, Mobily. The iPhone 3G, available in 8GB and 16GB models, is already available in some countries in the Middle East, through agreements with Vodafone and Orange affiliates.
According to the Jordan Times, Jordan Telecom Group (JTG) grew its customer base to 2.52 million subscribers at the end of 2008, up 3.4% year-on-year. The company said the rise was mainly driven by growth from its Orange internet subscriber base, which reported 55.6% subscriber growth to 102,200. The Orange mobile customer base rose by 2.6% to 1.76 million, while the number of fixed line subscribers was up 0.5% to 663,400. The group’s net profit increased 6.1% to JOD100.3 million (USD142.7 million), while EBITDA was up 5.5% to JOD183.2 million. Revenues edged up 0.9% to JOD401.4 million, while JTG’s operating expenses before depreciation and amortisation declined by 2.7% to JOD218.2 million. Capital expenditure in 2008 amounted to JOD55.8 million, 6.7% lower than the JOD59.8 million in 2007.
United Arab Emirates telco Etisalat has announced its consolidated annual net profit rose by 18.7% to AED8.7 billion (USD2.36 billion) during 2008 when compared to its 2007 net income of AED7.3 billion. Mohammed Khalfan Al Qamzi, CEO of Etisalat, said the improvement was due to an increase in subscribers at home and abroad; at the end of 2008, the company’s wireless subscriber base in the UAE increased to 7.3 million, a rise of 14% compared to the end of 2007, fixed line subscribers rose by 3% to 1.36 million and internet subscribers grew by 31% to 1.15 million. The company also reported its 2008 net revenues increased by 22% to AED26.1 billion when compared with the previous year. Chairman Mohammed Hassan Omran said ‘Acquiring new licences in Iran and India provides us with significant growth opportunities, and will support the development of our company for many years to come.’ Etisalat said it plans to invest USD1 billion in its first year of operations in Iran, after winning the country’s third mobile telephone licence in January.
However, while net profit increased when compared to the previous year, Reuters reported the telco’s fourth quarter net profit fell by 19.3% year-on-year to AED1.42 billion. Reuters calculated the quarterly data from previous financial statements, as Etisalat’s preliminary annual report did not provide quarterly breakdowns.
Mobile start-up Vodafone Qatar has confirmed that it will choose 1,000 people to trial its new GSM network when it is switched on at the beginning of March, reports The Peninsula. The company will conduct a two-month ‘beta trial’, to garner feedback from volunteers ahead of a full commercial launch later in the year. ‘We want a wide sample as possible, reflective of the rich diverse society in Qatar, different ages, men and women,’ a company spokeswoman said.
Derdack, provider of mobile messaging platforms and notification workflow software today announced that al khaliji, a next generation bank based in Qatar, is live on message master(R) xsp. Derdack’s mobile messaging platform has become an integral part of a dynamic and reliable technology base that will support the bank’s strategic business objectives.
Message master(R) xsp met our current and future business requirements better than any other system. We were impressed with its flexibility, ease of use and range of messaging functionality. It has proved to be a reliable and stable system that is easy to configure and maintain, said Ahmad Kandeel, Principal, Information and Communication Technology, al khaliji.
The Qatar Central Bank requires all retail banks to provide SMS confirmations and advices whenever a banking transaction or event takes place. By confirming each element of account activity suspicious transactions can be immediately queried thus minimising the risk of fraud.
UAE operator Du and Vodafone have signed a partner market agreement which will help both companies to better serve the needs of their customers in the UAE. Under the terms of the partnership, Du will have exclusive access to Vodafone’s range of products, devices and services in the UAE. The company will also be able to draw on Vodafone’s experience in supply chain management, technology development, acquisition of enterprise customers from multi-national companies as well as improved inter-working between networks. Vodafone’s CEO for Partner Markets Hatem Dowidar said through this agreement, Vodafone will be able to increase its brand recognition and extend its product range to a key market with a growing population. To be available in phases over a period of time, the partnership with Vodafone will provide Du customers with improved voice and data roaming access across 67 countries. In turn, Vodafone will be able to use Du’s 3G network to offer its customers a full set of services available on home network capabilities and extended coverage within the UAE. The partnership will also enable various multinational companies based outside the UAE and with local operations to meet their needs for unified communication, offer centralized customer care and enjoy Vodafone’s benefits using Du lines. At a later stage, the Du-Vodafone partnership will offer benefits such as mobile broadband connectivity products for PC’s through innovative means, secure remote mobile access for small business users, converged email solutions, faster and exclusive access to new models of handsets.