Vodafone Qatar will provide “good long-term offers” to customers even after expiry of its Dh50 per minute international call promotion on November 14, CEO Grahame Maher has said.
He said Vodafone Qatar wants to gradually move from ‘promotions to good long-term offers’, which benefit customers and shareholders alike.
“Retaining customers is very important and that’s a challenge for us. We want them to stay with us beyond the ongoing promotion, which concludes in two weeks,” Maher said in an interview with Gulf Times yesterday.
Vodafone Qatar CEO, however, did not give more details on the “good long-term offers” the service provider planned to announce in the coming days.
“We will notify our new local and international call rates before November 14,” Maher said.
Maher said he did not deny the fact that the Dh50 per minute promotion (to any network in the world) had helped Vodafone register more than 250,000 customers in the country. A majority of the Vodafone customers have signed up for its pre-pay service – RED.
“We have roughly about 200,000 RED customers now,” Maher said.
He emphasised that it was not possible to extend the current promotion beyond November 14.
“Already we have extended our international calling promotion by two weeks, until November 14. The decision had been taken to compensate customers who faced difficulties availing of our Dh50/minute promotion earlier due to capacity constraints. No way can we extend it because it is purely a promotion,” Maher said.
He thanked telecom regulator ictQATAR and Qtel for their help in tackling Vodafone’s capacity constraints.
He said Vodafone coverage had significantly improved with more than 310 radio sites spread all over Qatar.
“More than 50% of these are permanent sites. We are gradually replacing temporary with permanent radio sites,” Maher said.
To improve coverage and add capacity in places, where mobile call traffic is busy, Vodafone is putting extra radio sites, he said.
“Ras Laffan, Mesaieed and Industrial Area are busy places from the mobile call traffic point of view. We have moved three radio sites to Industrial Area last week. We are moving six radio sites to Ras Laffan. And at Mesaieed, we are providing another three radio sites,” Maher said.
He said Vodafone has launched a project to boost ‘indoor coverage’ by focusing on key installations such as the Doha International Airport.
“Indoor coverage at the airport is now done. We plan to improve indoor coverage in all major shopping centres, hotels and high rise buildings in the city in phases,” Maher said.
He said he was quite happy with the expansion of Vodafone’s distribution channels in Qatar.
“Besides our web-based distribution channel, we have eight stores, 800 outlets distributing SIM cards and 1,400 retailers providing recharge cards. This is a good number. Our distribution network grows every week,” Maher added.
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