If we were to travel back to ten years from now, an IDD call would have cost us a fortune while mobile service rates would have been figuratively sky high. The country would also have had only one Telecommunications Company. But in 2005, a new Telecommunications Company came to the Maldivian market much to the convenience of all Maldivians. Ooredoo Maldives, formerly known as Wataniya Maldives, beat strong contenders who had submitted competitive tariffs, due to their vision in investing heavily to cater for new services in the shortest possible time.
Since their launch, Ooredoo has played a major role in enhancing the telecommunications industry of the Maldives. As such, they are responsible for the launch of the first 3.5G HSDPA network in the Maldives, offering video calls and high speed mobile data to their customers.
As of now, Ooredoo provides GSM services throughout Maldives, with other value-added services. But what is yet to come is what exhilarates us; Ooredoo Maldives has recently been granted an Internet Service Provider (ISP) License. The company would finally be able to provide fixed line internet to the country, quenching the thirst of tech savvy Maldivians longing for broadband internet service by the company.
Sitting down with Maldeeb, CEO of Ooredoo Maldives, Mr. Vikram Sinha revealed the current plans of the company as well as several details of their plan to provide ISP services to the country.
He noted that the company was ready to provide the service to 70% of the resort market of the country immediately, since they have the capability and the necessary resources. However, he noted that it would take a longer time for the service to reach home users, starting from the greater Male’ area.
“Where people have a lot of expectations is fixed broadband, home users. That is an area which would take six to nine months, specially in places like Male’ because for that you need to take fiber to home,” he said.
Mr. Sinha also revealed that even though the company faces various obstacles today, they will be able to provide broadband services to home users in the greater Male’ area in about six to nine months. However, the company will start rolling out the services to the resorts and corporate users starting late August.
Indubiously, the biggest challenge the company faces in providing the service is transmission, since the country is an island nation with almost over 200 islands.
As Mr. Sinha noted Ooredoo is currently present in fourteen countries including Doha, Qatar and Indonesia. Hence the company is familiar with tactics and techniques that should be used to provide excellent results. He stressed that the company will be bringing their “Middle Eastern capabilities in terms of knowledge and technology”.
Concluding the interview, Mr. Sinha also thanked the regime of President Abdulla Yameen for being immensely supportive and providing them with the license. He also noted that it was impeccable timing to receive the license – since the country was indulging in celebrations of the golden jubilee of Maldivian independence while the company itself was celebrating their 10th year in service.
As they say, history repeats itself and we are about to witness the same once again. When Ooredoo was formed in Maldives they succeeded in revolutionizing the telecommunications industry of the country and they are yet to do the same to the internet services. Years of yearning and longing shall come to an end, as Ooredoo rises head to head with other ISPs of the country.