Vodafone Qatar is committed to a culture of continuous improvement and network enhancements. In an exclusive interview, Chief Technology Officer Ramy Boctor, sheds light on the company’s digital transformation efforts, its technology integration and its CSR approach.
How will Vodafone Qatar, a noted steward in the tech world, maintain its Internet and telecommunications leadership to drive digital transformation?
Vodafone Qatar recognizes its role as a key contributor to developing Qatar’s National Digital Vision. This realization means that we have committed ourselves to a culture of continuous improvement and network enhancements. We actively seek opportunities to boost the efficiency, reliability and effectiveness of our products and services and remain open to embracing and deploying emerging technologies to further advance the country’s digital transformation.
To this end, we have made several improvements to speeds on our network in recent months, the most notable of which are: investing in a 1.2 Tbps backbone capacity and deploying high-capacity solutions such as dual beams and hexa beams in highly loaded areas to ensure adequate network capacity and full resiliency; and trialing mmWave 5G, which supports higher data speeds than other 5G spectrums, reaching up to 4.6 Gbps on the downlink and 734 Mbps on the uplink to support special use cases.
Moving forward, we are eager to continue growing our mobile and fixed networks across each of the segments we cater to (prepaid, postpaid, home and enterprises) in order to unlock digital possibilities for our people and businesses, enabling them to access brand new, first-in-the-market solutions.
What competencies does Vodafone Qatar depend on to create additional value in society and enhance communication in Qatar?
We pride ourselves in taking every bit of time and effort to identify ways in which our customers can enjoy unparalleled digital experiences powered by our world-class network connectivity. Under this resolve, we have worked above and beyond to develop and continually enhance our portfolio of products and services for consumers and businesses alike.
One of our most recent campaigns, “Al Bayt Al 3oud,” which translates as “The Big House,” is a perfect demonstration of this focus, where we have endeavored to showcase the many ways in which our technology enables individuals to overcome everyday challenges and stay connected with friends, family and coworkers.
For example, our IoT Fleet Management solution empowers business owners to monitor their fleet in real-time whilst also allowing employees a seamless communication pathway to instantly connect with managers in case of emergencies — thereby saving time and added costs and enhancing overall operational efficiency.
Moreover, with innovation being one of our core pillars, we rely heavily on our deep sector expertise and core competencies in ICT and Science Data to actively forge partnerships with key stakeholders in Qatar, enabling smart living and digital-first lifestyles across society. Earlier this year, we collaborated with Nokia to roll out our cutting-edge fiber technology in Msheireb Downtown Doha — the world’s first fully built smart and sustainable city district — making it the first Gigacity in the Middle East to deliver ultrafast network speeds on our 25Gb/s fiber network.
Across your tireless and impactful efforts in the telecommunications sector, how do you assess the industry transformations and their implications for your business?
With the compass of the industry shifting towards cloud and AI technologies, digitalization is becoming a mandate, drawing attention to key considerations and questions on how to transform the network stack toward full automation and data-driven architecture whilst harnessing the power of AI to enhance customer experience and create more value. Vodafone Qatar has been leading the digital transformation journey, making conscious decisions leveraging telecom expertise and cutting-edge AI and cloud technologies.
Qatar relies on artificial intelligence at all levels. How does Vodafone Qatar integrate this and other technologies into its business?
Employing next-generation technologies to simplify the lives of our customers is an integral part of our operations and a priority area in which we continue to make strides. As we undergo a rapid digital transformation, enhancing our digital capabilities, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA), has been pivotal to the success of our commercial and technological decisions.
This is echoed in the opening of our new telecoms Network Operations Center (NOC) in Qatar’s Lusail city in 2021. Our NOC utilizes emerging technologies, including AI and automation, in addition to other best industry practices and tools to ensure our networks remain consistently reliable, efficient and high-performing.
As part of our wider digital transformation agenda, we also introduced Labeeb, one of the first AI-powered chatbots in Qatar, which is available to customers on our Vodafone app. Enabled via natural language processing capabilities blended with machine learning, Labeeb provides customer services around bill payments, top-ups, add-on management and special offer information to users in both English and Arabic.
How do you leverage your leadership in the technology sector to influence positive change in society? What is your approach to Corporate Social Responsibility?
Among the priority areas very close to our hearts at Vodafone Qatar is “sustainability,” which also forms one of the three pillars of our operations. We are proud to serve as a beacon of environmental action in Qatar and align our efforts to ensure that the change we are seeking to influence in society begins from within our organization. This means that we always look for opportunities to emphasize sustainable living and environmentally friendly practices amongst our workforce. For instance, we involved our employees in the commemoration of World Car Free Day, where they used sustainable alternatives to arrive at work such as carpooling, electric scooters, bicycles or by walking.
Human development also features heavily under our CSR approach. We are committed to nurturing the leaders of tomorrow in the technology landscape in Qatar. In line with Qatar National Vision 2030 that seeks to build a knowledge-based economy, we routinely connect with young talents at various career fairs across the country and have also developed graduate programs to foster their growth and smooth transition into professional tech-oriented roles.