Ooredoo has already broken through the one million customer milestone in its newest market of Myanmar, less than three weeks after going live with its services.
H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani, Chairman, Ooredoo Group, revealed the significant achievement in a special ceremony in the capital Nay Pyi Taw, where he thanked the people of Myanmar for their warm welcome, and stressed the company's commitment to serving the country.
Since the launch of Ooredoo in Myanmar, the company has seen unprecedented demand for its mobile phone and internet services, with people queuing overnight to purchase a low-cost Ooredoo SIM. The team is striving to deliver up to customers' expectations, offering crystal clear voice services and fast Internet.
The event offered thanks to customers, staff and partners who have made this achievement possible and the Chairman challenged his team to go further in striving to improve service for customers. It was attended by a number of VIP guests, including H.E. Sheikh Abdullah; H.E. U Myat Hein, Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology; H.E. Jaber Ali Al Dosari, Qatar Ambassador to Thailand and accredited to Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos; Aziz Al-Uthman Fakhroo, Ooredoo Group Board Member and Chairman of Ooredoo Myanmar; Dr. Nasser Marafih, Group CEO, Ooredoo; U Than Htun Aung, Director of Posts and Telecommunications Department; and Ross Cormack, CEO of Ooredoo Myanmar.
Demonstrating the potential for growth and strong appetite for data services in Myanmar, many customers are using mobile and accessing the internet for the first time.
In his speech, H.E. Sheikh Abdullah expressed his delight at the strong interest particularly from people who previously had not had the opportunity to benefit from mobile and access to the internet, and said the response from customers has been "humbling," such as one of our first customers - a father - who saw how this would give his son access to better education opportunities.
"Mobile communication enriches people's lives. It connects job-seekers with new opportunities, unites families who are separated by geography, enables teachers to access learning resources, farmers to track market demand, and entrepreneurs to connect with new suppliers, which is why we have continuously pushed to enable people's access to these life chances. I am humbled by the warm welcome we have received from the people of Myanmar, and by their dedication to improving their lives with technology. We are committed to continuously improving our service so we can meet our promise of giving people better life chances," he said.
"I think of people like Daw Hla, another of our first customers. She's a fisherwoman who has never used a mobile phone before our launch. She told us this was a 'golden opportunity' to reach out and connect her community through technology. To customers like Daw, I promise we will keep working hard to improve and enhance our services," he added.
Ooredoo has invested and installed the world's first next-generation purely UMTS900 network throughout Myanmar, which will provide fast internet and is primed to enable a smooth transition to a 4G LTE network in the future.
H.E. U Myat Hein, Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology, said: "Over the past few years, the Union Government and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology have worked hard to lay the foundations for the creation of a competitive telecommunications landscape that truly serves our people and we are closer than ever to achieving this."
"This is truly a historic moment for our country, people, and the telecoms sector in Myanmar. My most heartfelt congratulations to the whole Ooredoo and Ooredoo Myanmar Limited team on your successful launch of Ooredoo service in Myanmar! And I am also glad to see you have kept your launch commitment," he added.
Aziz Al-Uthman Fakhroo, Ooredoo Group Board Member and Chairman of Ooredoo Myanmar, said: "This has been a challenging greenfield launch, where we have needed to counter a number of logistical and technological challenges to deliver a world-class network for the people. We have overcome these challenges with the help of local partners and communities, and have become the first international communications company to operate in Myanmar. We will continue to strive to offer the very best services for our customers."
Speaking of the challenges faced during the development stage, Ross Cormack, CEO Ooredoo Myanmar, praised the 1,000 employees of the Ooredoo Myanmar team, and stated that – in keeping with the company's tradition of hiring local talent – 800 of these team members are Myanmar people.
Alongside traditional sales and services jobs, which cover 6,500 dealers at launch and 30,000 points of sale for top-ups, the company estimate through the distribution network alone Ooredoo has already supported approximately 50,000 new jobs for the people of Myanmar.
Cormack commented: "The response to our launch has been inspiring! This wonderful nation's pent-up demand for mobile communication services has surpassed even our expectations, and as our reach expands across the country these opportunities will increase. This growth will enable more people to experience our life-enriching services and see the life changing opportunities technology can bring."
At the close of the ceremony, Ooredoo highlighted that the network will rapidly extend to include 25 million people by the end of 2014, as the company brings the benefits of connectivity to the population as fast as is possible.