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Vodafone Qatar aims to lead the market by continually investing in its technological capabilities, forging global partnerships and providing cutting-edge roaming solutions at affordable prices. Learn more in this exclusive interview with Tamara Al Bakri, head of roaming and carrier services, Vodafone Qatar.

How does Vodafone Qatar ensure secure, consistent and reliable roaming at 5G speeds in top destinations and the widest 4G roaming around the globe?

As a leading telecoms operator, our mission is to connect people and their devices, ensuring they receive the best possible service wherever they may be in the world.

Vodafone Qatar is proud of its global reach, meaning that our customers can keep in touch with friends and family or carry out their business affairs, whether they are at 40,000 feet or in the middle of the ocean.

Strategically, we are investing heavily in our 5G capabilities and technology and upgrading our systems to boost connectivity, improve the quality of our calls and expand our coverage. From a domestic point of view, Qatar has a very advanced and modern infrastructure, and we want to play a key role in the digital transformation of the country.

The advent of our 5G service means we’ve created a new mobile experience that guarantees stress-free roaming: it offers virtually no lag time with a greatly improved capacity that is up to ten times faster than 4G.

In fact, 85% of our data roaming today is carried out on 5G. What’s more, visitors coming into Qatar, whether on business or holiday, can also enjoy a world-class 5G experience as our coverage encompasses the whole nation. We’re fortunate that most of our buildings are enabled for the adoption of new technologies, and the penetration of optical fiber is high.

We also have one of the widest levels of 4G coverage — it’s available practically all over the world in over 183 countries globally. From a product development point of view, we’ve worked really hard to ensure there is a roaming pack or solution that works for all our customers.

What makes Vodafone Qatar’s carrier services competitive in the market? What innovative, cutting-edge solutions have you deployed in 2023?

Vodafone Qatar continues to be at the forefront of developments in mobile communications, including the rollout of 5G networks, the first of which we launched commercially back in 2019, the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud services.

Our first consumer IoT product, the Smart Tracker, launched last summer and enables customers to find and track their most important belongings, such as wallets, luggage, laptops and even cars, not only in Qatar but in more than 155 countries across the world.

Such innovation and advancement enable us to offer faster, more secure and more reliable connectivity services that genuinely cater to the evolving needs of consumers and businesses. This is also bolstered by our incredibly strong network of global partners, and we have a significant presence across the GCC, Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia and the USA.

The host of effective data services is specially designed to offer flexibility and scalability, be it in International Private Leased Circuit (IPLC), Ethernet services or IP VPN services, and our International Carrier Relations team has purchased and leased network assets reaching major cities in the world.

Voice, data and IP traffic is now exchanged with our carrier partners in many of the world’s traditional business centers, as well as in many of the emerging territories around the globe.

With the year coming to an end, what are the challenges and opportunities that Vodafone Qatar will continue to leverage in terms of roaming and carrier services for 2024 and beyond?

With more people than ever before traveling internationally, the demand for mobile data is increasing exponentially, and it looks set to do so for many years to come.

This provides us with an opportunity to meet the exacting demands of today’s traveler, who requires seamless and affordable connectivity while on-the-go.

The telecoms industry is highly competitive, and as mobile operators, we cannot afford to be complacent.

It’s essential that we work hard to differentiate our offering in order to attract and retain customers. We aim to stay ahead of the market by continually investing in our technological capabilities, forging global partnerships and providing cutting-edge roaming solutions at affordable prices.

One of the ways we’ve been able to do this is with the launch of GigaNET VoLTE (Voice Over Long Term Evolution) technology, which provides superior voice and video calling and a fast internet connection simultaneously with no interruptions.

From a roaming perspective, it represents an extraordinary evolution in mobile telecommunications, giving roaming mobile subscribers the ability to experience VoLTE features including crystal clear calls, faster call setup times and longer battery life, all while traveling between different networks and regions.

With over 15 years of experience in the mobile telecom industry, what are your key learnings as a woman? How can you encourage other women to delve into the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) path?

I take my role as a senior female figure in the tech sector very seriously and feel lucky to work for an organization that has made a genuine commitment to empowering women by improving access to education and digital skills.

Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to receive a huge amount of support, and for this reason, I feel a strong sense of responsibility about doing everything I can to be a mentor to women in the ICT sector, especially those who may not have access to a strong support system.

It’s incredibly important to me that other females in this industry can follow a similar pathway to the one that I have created.

My overriding message to any young female graduate thinking of pursuing a career in ICT is: go for it! The future for women in this industry is bright; it’s a very rewarding field to work in, offering numerous opportunities for career growth and personal development.

It’s important to remind ourselves that a woman’s perspective is vital for creating inclusive and user-friendly solutions that can address a diverse range of needs. Perhaps most exciting of all is that by choosing a career in ICT, women can actively shape the future of technology and also that of the wider society around them.

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