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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Ooredoo answers to competition with more data, lower rates

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phone

State-backed telecom company Ooredoo has announced significant changes to its post-paid Shahry plans for mobile phones, less than two weeks after rival operator Vodafone also revamped its offerings.

The new plans, dubbed ShahrySmart, now range from QR15 a month (down from a previous base of QR55) to QR750. Data allowances have been increased for all plans, with one option, Shahry 100, now offering 1GB a month rather than 50MB – 20 times as much.

Every customer joining ShahrySmart will also get a free special number (worth QR1000), and a month free of charge if they join or upgrade before March 10. Subscribers to Shahry 250 and above now receive free unlimited local calls and texts.

Earlier this month, Ooredoo also announced its decision to drop the monthly charge for 4G services for all customers, in a bid to sharply increase the number of people using the service, from the 30,000 current subscribers to some 1 million customers.

In October, Ooredoo became the first provider to enable 4G mobile internet for smartphones in Qatar.

Competition

The company’s announcements follow similarly high-profile publicity from rival Vodafone, which introduced four new “RED” packages for postpaid customers recently.

These plans are priced from QR250 to QR1,000 a month, and include unlimited local calls, varying internet data services and international calling minutes. Subscribers also receive additional services on some plans like valet parking at some of Qatar’s malls, special phone numbers (until April 30), a VIP concierge service, and access to airport lounges.

The announcements come at a time when Vodafone, which ended Ooredoo’s monopoly in 2009, is narrowing its financial losses and increasing its customer base.

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