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Posted On: 20 April 2009 01:59 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Vodafone gift-wraps IPO

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Subscribers to the Vodafone IPO will have the opportunity to choose the service provider’s mobile number free of charge and avail of two call packages during a promotion period. Vodafone’s IPO is limited to Qataris and Qatari organisations. All Vodafone numbers start with ‘7’. Customers will have about 1mn mobile phone numbers to choose from, Vodafone Qatar CEO Grahame Maher said. However, shareholders who wish to select their own numbers have to pay a reservation fee starting from QR500. All numbers come at a fixed fee and a valid credit card is required to avail of the facility. Each subscriber (individual or company) can reserve up to three numbers. The ‘free number promotion’ for IPO subscribers ends on May 31. Vodafone Qatar plans to raise QR3.38bn by selling its 40% stake through the two-week-long initial public offering, which closes on April 26 (at 1pm). Once the subscription period ends, the IPO subscribers will receive a PIN number that allows them to go online to Vodafone’s website and choose their numbers. They will be able to choose their numbers on a prioritised basis. People who subscribe first are to have the first choice. “I expect this to happen by May 1,” Maher said. “This offer is to reward and thank our shareholders for helping to build our business. We wanted to give this unique bonus to our IPO subscribers so they can choose their numbers before the general public. However, expatriates in this country are also very important to us and we will have something exciting for them soon,” Maher said. He said Vodafone wanted to compete with Qtel, the country’s first telecom service provider, on a range of products and services. “We want to give our customers the very best. We are investing quite a lot in this country, building infrastructure and developing our capabilities,” Maher said. Vodafone Qatar chief marketing officer Michael Portz said the IPO subscribers would also be able to get two call packages until September 30. Those who pay QR100 would get a value pack for QR250. And those who pay QR350 are eligible for a value pack of QR1,000. There is no limit on the number of value packs one can buy during the promotion. IPO subscribers opting for a Vodafone mobile connection will be able to make both national and international voice calls and SMS. National calls will be charged at Dh50 per minute and each national SMS at Dh40. International calls are to be charged at QR2.50 a minute and international SMS at Dh60 (per message). All calls and SMS made will get deducted from the value package chosen. For every number chosen, the IPO subscribers must select one of the value bundles being offered. Portz said some 40 star numbers had been allotted during a high-profile auction event held on March 1. “We are going to reserve some more numbers, which will be allotted later,” he said. He said the first 1,000 customers who were hooked on to the Vodafone network on a trial basis would be provided with more calling options and packages shortly. He said the prices for national and international voice calls and SMS were designed specifically for the promotion period.