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Posted On: 9 July 2009 08:35 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Competition from Vodafone welcome, says Qtel chief

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With the official launch of Vodafone Qatar’s services to the public yesterday, Qatar Telecom’s (Qtel) chief executive officer said they are gladly welcoming the competition. Dr Nasser Marafih, Qtel’s CEO, said they are happy the second mobile operator has finally launched its services as this will give their customers the opportunity to see for themselves “the strengths that Qtel offers.” “We have not been surprised by what we have seen from the second operator in Qatar… We have been ready for a while now. We have looked at what has been launched by the second operator and do not feel that there is a need to change what we are doing – we believe this is an indicator of our strength and readiness,” said Marafih. Marafih said Qtel is no stranger to competition and will continue to focus on its quality of service, innovation in its product range and affordability for customers in every area. Speaking to The Peninsula yesterday, Grahame Maher, Vodafone Qatar’s chief executive officer, said their entry in the country is right on time as he thinks Qatar is ready for competition. “Competition is healthy and it will help improve companies’ services… Qtel is a good organisation and it is growing globally… It will be good to have a healthy competition with the company,” said Maher. According to him, Qtel will help Vodafone Qatar improve on its services and range of products as they continue to introduce more of them step by step this year. Maher said the first day of their launch had been busy and there was a lot of activity online the entire day. “Even right now (past 9 p.m.), I’m looking at the screen, and there is still a lot of activity going on online. Our first day went very well. Maybe… we will get figures and… more information… today.” After much anticipation, with many challenges thrown in along the way, Vodafone Qatar officially launched its services to the public yesterday, and together with it, their first online promotions. Maher also announced they are hopeful of listing Vodafone Qatar on the Qatar Exchange by month end. “Everything we need to do, we have done. We are waiting for Qatar Exchange to notify us on the listing.” Vodafone Qatar’s two-weeklong initial public offering (IPO) for QR3.38bn was subscribed by 82,000 Qatari individuals and around 273 institutional investors in April. It sold 40 percent of its stake, which closed on April 26. Vodafone Qatar offered 338.1 million shares at QR10 each and was fully subscribed.