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Ooredoo to spend $1bn upgrading overseas networks

An Ooredoo shop in Tunis. Tunisia is one of the countries where the company intends to improve connectivity Reuters/Zoubeir Souissi
An Ooredoo shop in Tunis. Tunisia is one of the countries where the company intends to improve connectivity
  • Investment for Mena and Maldives
  • Improved coverage and quality
  • 2.6bn people still offline, says CEO

Qatari telecoms group Ooredoo is to spend $1.1 billion upgrading its mobile coverage and quality of servies in a number of key overseas markets.

Over the period 2024-26, the company will allocate substantial sums to improve connectivity in Algeria, Tunisia, Gaza and the West Bank, Iraq and the Maldives. 

Ooredoo’s operations in Gaza have been disrupted because of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, leading to temporary shutdowns last November. 

Although services were restored after four days, the affected infrastructure may still need repairs. 

“With 2.6 billion people still offline [in developing regions], bridging the digital divide is an urgent imperative,” said group CEO Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo.

The investment plan was announced by International Telecommunication Union secretary-general Doreen Bogdan-Martin on February 26 at Mobile World Congress 2024, which is taking place in Barcelona.

This month Ooredoo reported an all-time high net profit of QAR3 billion ($824 million) for 2023. The year-on-year rise of 28 percent was attributed to solid performances in Iraq, Kuwait, Algeria and the Maldives.

The company also said revenue had increased 2 percent year on year to QAR23.2 billion.

In October 2023 Ooredoo, Kuwait’s Zain Group and the UAE’s TASC Towers Holding signed agreements to create the largest tower company in the Middle East and North Africa. It will be valued at $2.2 billion.

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