September 2016

Joseph Ged: Market leader maker Ooredoo Algeria becomes No.1 in mobile market in Algeria

Since Joseph Ged's appointment as the CEO of Ooredoo Algeria in 2007, the company has launched a number of life changing services for its customers including 2G, 3G and 4G mobile internet, adding that these network investments, amongst other service breakthroughs, have helped cement the operator's leadership in the country. Thanks to the company's recent Q2 results, Ooredoo Algeria has officially achieved the market leadership position.

During his mandate as the CEO, the company reached record revenue of 252 million dollars and achieved strong management and CSR department.

Thanks to Joseph Ged's leadership and dedication, Ooredoo Algeria has acquired a momentous accomplishment. The clients gained faster internet connections, as well as great customer service.

After announcing that he will step down, Joseph Ged opened up to Telecom Review about his experience during the ten years that he has spent at the Algerian operator. He declared being proud of seeing Ooredoo Algeria become the mobile market leader in the country and tackled the 4G launching that aims at further improving the clients' experience.

You have announced that you are stepping down as director general of Ooredoo Algeria. How can you summarize the accomplishments made while you were managing this subsidiary of Ooredoo Group?
In fact, I've decided to quit my operational functions as director general of Ooredoo Algeria to assume other responsibilities. I feel that I have accomplished my mission by lifting Ooredoo to the rank of mobile market leader in Algeria with a record revenue of USD252 million in the second quarter of 2016.

Since 2007, the year during which I was assigned as director general of Nedjma (Ooredoo today), I've had the opportunity to oversee important projects that changed our clients' daily lives and introduced new usages thanks to 2G technologies and multimedia, the 3G and mobile broadband, and soon the 4G with high speed mobile broadband networks.

Twelve years later, Ooredoo has become the leader of the mobile market in Algeria, superseding his historical competitor; a leadership that was consolidated thanks to the investments and the mobile democratization strategy that we have deployed.

How do you feel while leaving this position that you have occupied for 10 years?
I am very proud to leave Ooredoo Algeria after such a positive performance leading it to become the mobile market leader in Algeria. I would like to highlight the fact that this success wouldn't have been achieved without the support of Ooredoo Algeria's employees and clients and of the glorious nation of Algeria.

You have launched 3G and overseen the preparations for the launching of 4G. How do you assess these achievements?
First of all, the upcoming launching of the 4G is a great success for public institutions and shows once again that Algeria is at the forefront of ongoing technological evolutions.

After the great success registered with  3G and the first test of 4G in Algeria, Ooredoo will provide a successful 4G experience in the Algerian market by providing its expertise and technological experience in terms of internet broadband and high speed internet broadband. This will reinforce its position in the national digital industry, so that 4G will become a driver for economic growth and efficiency at the national level.

I would like to recall that Ooredoo Algeria, along with its partner Alcatel-Lucent, deployed the AON solution (Agile Optical Network), a 400 gigabits/second backbone that allows a spectacular increase in the speed and capacities required to uphold traffic demand growth generated by 4G.

Furthermore, Ooredoo is the first operator to undergo successful 4G tests with a maximum speed reaching 75MB/s. In addition, Ooredoo revamped completely its frequencies in the 1800 MHz spectrum that will be used for the 4G deployment. All of these elements are important levers of 4G success and a driver for national growth.

How does Ooredoo's 4G improve the clients' experience?
Several years ago, Ooredoo had initiated a technological and commercial excellence strategy that will be accelerated and enhanced thanks to the launching of 4G.

Clients will then sense considerable improvements in terms of download speed, mobile TV, streaming or HD voice calls, for instance. 4G will also allow the emergence of new national ecosystems through the revolution of connected devices or thanks to services such as m-commerce, m-payment, m-banking, m-health, m-education, etc.

4G infrastructure can be also put in a more institutional framework to develop smart cities or foster relations between governments and citizens by adopting flexible low cost tools. Several public-private partnerships will be developed to allow institutional actors to capitalize on these new technological resources.

Therefore, 4G will constitute a main step in the process of consolidating the new knowledge and performance economy.

Do you think that Algerian consumers are ready to adopt this new technology? Will the transition towards 4G be easy and accessible to everyone?
After the 3G launching in 2013, we have observed that Algerian clients, who had adopted the existing new mobile usages and new mobile services consumption behaviors, are excited to use this technology. So, Algerian consumers are very interested in the evolution of new technologies and follow it up close.

The arrival of 4G to the Algerian market will meet the needs and expectations of a high number of Algerian consumers; a market where mobile penetration rate has surpassed 100%. Moreover, Ooredoo will provide an easy access to 4G services to its clients who only have to acquire a new 4G SIM card that can be used on a smartphone adapted to this technology, while keeping the same phone number and updating their contract.

According to you, what are the challenges that can hamper 4G networks?
Before the effective 4G services launching, Ooredoo rolled out the necessary technical and human resources in order to guarantee the optimal deployment of this new technology.

Ooredoo is perfectly prepared and has undertaken successful public tests on July 10th. The main goal is to deploy commercial services in a high number of provinces (wilayas) as of the first year while imposing the most adequate tariffs adapted to the market and new innovative services. The first step involves the provinces (wilayas) of Tlemcen, Bechar and Tzi-Ouzou, before covering all of the 48 provinces in a record time. Ooredoo intends to reinforce its position in the national digital industry by deploying all human, technical and financial resources so that 4G will become a driver for economic growth and efficiency at the national level.

Does Ooredoo's 3G network cover the entire Algerian territory? How do you intend to improve this coverage?
Today, Ooredoo's 3G network covers the whole national territory providing millions of Algerians across 48 provinces with the opportunity to enrich their daily lives by living the 3G++ experience to the fullest. Our 3G network covers currently more than 90% of the Algerian population.

Ooredoo has today more than 6 million 3G subscribers and intends to maintain its leadership through its significant investments and technological know-how in order to improve and reinforce this coverage.

After 4G, how do you see the future of Ooredoo in the telecommunications sector in Algeria?
Ooredoo's launching and deployment of 4G will reinforce its position in the national digital industry. However, 4G itself is not a goal and should allow the emergence of new usages and services.

Ooredoo has been working for many years on programs, aiming at upholding the emergence of the "made in Algeria" content industry because it is crucial to shed light on the great potential of young Algerian developers and entrepreneurs.

Thanks to programs like t-start and i-start, Ooredoo provides them with important tools so that they can express their creativity and know-how and contribute to the modernization of the national economy. Through 4G, it is possible to achieve the goal of benefiting from this internationally acknowledged technological leadership to expedite economic growth and offer to every project holder the technological tool essential for their achievement. 

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