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In an exclusive interview with Telecom Review, Bader Al Zidi, CEO, Vodafone Oman, explains the strategy behind the company’s meteoric advancement in Oman’s ICT market and beyond.

As a relatively new entrant into the Oman telecom market, please take us through Vodafone Oman's journey so far in Oman.

Vodafone entered the Omani market in early 2022, and until then, the telecom sector in the country had been a duopoly for almost 20 years. We knew that entering a saturated market like Oman meant that we needed to be different and unique in order to compete and come out ahead. Drawing inspiration from successful green-field operators worldwide and capitalizing on Vodafone’s global know-how, we built Oman’s first digital, 100% cloud-based company with a 5G network from day one. 

Leveraging these technologies, we were the first to introduce a fully digital onboarding process through the My Vodafone App, allowing customers to subscribe to our services within minutes without the need to visit any retail outlet. Our App is the center of our universe and a one-stop-shop for our innovations, from onboarding to auto payment, SIM and eSIM replacement, and even government services such as car-parking payment.

Today, with 100% app penetration and our personalized customer experience, we have secured our consistent #1 NPS ranking since the start of our operations.

What does Vodafone Oman's 5G Next Level network mean for Oman's digital ecosystem in terms of accelerating sustainable and power-efficient operations?

Our 5G Next Level network gives Oman's digital world a super boost, creating a win-win for everyone in our digital scene. We're starting fresh with the latest greenfield technology, making everything work better and faster.

Our network thrives on a well-designed, efficient infrastructure, ensuring seamless support for cloud-based operations and giving our users the best performance. Powered by only four racks, it sets a groundbreaking standard for eco-conscious telecom networks. It's kinder to the environment, using cleaner energy sources and smarter power management.

5G connectivity promises a plethora of new revenue-generating avenues. How is Vodafone Oman strategizing to leverage this opportunity?  

Alongside extraordinary speed and flawless functionality, making it perfect for video calls, streaming and online gaming, thanks to 5G's low latency and high bandwidth capabilities, it is driving the integration of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and edge computing. This brings with it almost unlimited possibilities that can be leveraged.

For Oman, real-time data processing, analysis and decision-making at the network's edge will accelerate the development of smart cities and the adoption of industrial automation and autonomous vehicles in line with the country’s development goals. 

Please tell us about Vodafone Oman's efforts to develop national talents for the ICT sector. What are its key initiatives in preparing for a future-ready IT workforce?

Our efforts in building the capacities of local talents spread across multiple levels. Looking to nurture the next generation of ICT leaders, we launched a Vodafone Global Training Programme, an initiative focused on employee development, providing them with on-the-job training and exposure to Vodafone operations around the world.

In addition, we also identified a unique knowledge gap in the technical digital market, more specifically within the youth segment, and earlier this summer, we launched Code with Vodafone, a program that aims to enable the rise of a new coder generation in Oman. The initiative has been formulated to bridge the technical knowledge gap between school and higher education, with aspirations to build the foundation for the creation of a new vocational career path. Today, it is one of several socially impactful digital initiatives on the company’s horizon, in collaboration with our strategic partners.

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