Ooredoo Myanmar | Driving Innovations in Digital Transformation

Rajeev Sethi CEO Ooredoo Myanmar

Just like for any other telco in the world, delivering innovation holds the big key to success for Ooredoo Myanmar and the operator is continuously focused towards achieving this with the help of its innovation-led digital transformation strategy.

Rajeev Sethi, CEO, Ooredoo Myanmar speaks with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com about the company’s key focus areas today and how it is driving meaningful innovation in the market. 

What are the key priorities or areas of focus for Ooredoo Myanmar today?

At Ooredoo Myanmar, digital transformation and the introduction of innovative new technologies that improve the customer experience continue to be our main priority. Another key area of focus is improving our network infrastructure to ensure it continues to provide a fast, reliable and secure connection.

Digital Transformation Innovation

For example, through our 4G LTE Turbo network, an upgraded 4G network that we introduced earlier this year. Our 4G LTE Turbo network provides faster and even more stable internet connections, indoors and outdoors, enabling users across the country to enjoy a seamless and enhanced 4G experience.

In fact, our 3G and 4G networks are ranked number one for speed in the country. While our “My Ooredoo” customer self-service application continues to attract more customers, signaling strong demand for Ooredoo Myanmar’s digital offerings.

How does the Telco look at driving digital transformation for its enterprise and SME customers in Myanmar?

Ooredoo Myanmar provides digital solutions with supporting features that meet the specific and evolving needs of enterprise and SME customers. For example, these solutions enable business customers to navigate a 360-degree omni-channel customer relationship, to centralise the autonomous management of different network elements or create a collaboration platform where they can communicate with their customers and vendors, seamlessly, anywhere and anytime.

This digital transformation journey will benefit Enterprise and SME customers by increasing their customer satisfaction and improving operation workflows.

What are some of the innovations that the company is bringing in this direction?

Ooredoo Myanmar seeks to provide best-in-class enterprise services and differentiated enterprise and SME offerings that cater to the increasing demand for more tailored end-to-end solutions.

To this end, Ooredoo Myanmar has introduced multiple innovations including:

  • New applications to our Person Bulk Messaging Service which can support Enterprise and SME customers in advertising their products and goods, acknowledging of transactions, and other announcement & alert notification purposes
  • SIP Trunk service for Enterprise Call Center Solution
  • SD-WAN (Software Defined-Wide Area Network Management) service by Ooredoo Myanmar and Cisco
  • LTE backup and redundancy solution for seamless internet access
  • A customer self-managing portal; where the Ooredoo Myanmar Data Pool customers can easily manage data allocation, add and remove users from data-sharing access, monitor usage and analyse usage trends.

How do you look at rapid developments on the 5G front? What are your plans to embrace 5G and roll out 5G enabled solutions?

Ooredoo Group is one of the first operators in the world to launch 5G commercially in May 2018, in its home country Qatar.

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In parallel to strengthening our 4G networks, Ooredoo Myanmar is working tirelessly towards becoming 5G-ready, with the potential to deliver unprecedented network speeds, stability and applications to the people of Myanmar.

In 2019, we entered into a strategic alliance with ZTE Corporation, becoming the first operator in Myanmar to showcase a range of 5G use-cases in a live demonstration. We were able to demonstrate 5G speeds of up to 1.75Gbps, immersive virtual reality experiences and an innovative drone-based monitoring system. We also expanded our LTE coverage, adding 1300 4G LTE sites and introducing low-band LTE in L900, while also expanding the Seamless MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) network to improve resilience.

Looking forward, widespread 5G deployment will depend upon multiple factors including, 1) 5G spectrum availability and allocation by the government, 2) the availability and affordability of 5G devices and handsets for the public, and 3) the identification and availability of 5G use cases that are relevant for Myanmar.

What is Ooredoo Myanmar doing in order to enable AI driven customer engagement and services today?

Ooredoo Myanmar has recently enabled the Chatbot function for SIM registration on the Facebook social media platform and is working to expand the use of this service among customers. We also plan to enable AI-driven customer care services as part of our Digital Care roadmap, which will help to deliver a customised and seamless customer experience.

What according to you are some of the big challenges that lie ahead in this COVID19 era? How can these challenges be covered?

Amid COVID-19, Ooredoo Myanmar remains fully committed to ensuring communities, employees and customers can stay connected using our networks. We are also supporting Government initiatives to address the impact of the pandemic through a range of measures, new innovative digital solutions and relief efforts.

To ensure employee safety we have implemented robust “Work from Home” policies wherever possible, and other critical safety and social distancing measures if staff do need to attend work to ensure reliable connectivity.

To support our business customers we have accelerated the launch of Cisco Webex Teams and a Work-From-Home Internet solution, to enable their employees to work efficiently, effectively and safely from home.

Education is one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. School systems in Myanmar and across the world were forced to shut down to contain the outbreak, and teachers in Myanmar were unable to undergo training for the new syllabus in preparation for the upcoming school year. We believe education is crucial to shaping the future of the country, so to facilitate continued learning through online classes, Ooredoo Myanmar has provided free data access to the Ministry of Education for a minimum of six months. This will enable teachers to access the online education platform, the Myanmar Digital Education Platform (MDEP), which is equipped with a wide range of resources to help teachers train for the upcoming new school syllabus.

Over 450,000 teachers nationwide, who use Ooredoo SIM cards, gained access to MDEP free of charge.

To help those in quarantine stay connected with friends and family, Ooredoo Myanmar also donated a thousand SIM cards to the Yangon Region Government Office. Each SIM card is pre-loaded with one GB of data and top up credit valid for 60 days.

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While there will continue to be challenges and uncertainties brought about by the evolving situation, we will continue to prioritise the wellbeing of our stakeholders and see this as an opportunity to test and introduce new and exciting digital solutions and ways of working going forward.  We  believe this shift to online lifestyles is likely to be long lasting and Ooredoo Mayanmar is fully committed to supporting the country’s digital development, which we expect to be a vital driver of the economic growth as we emerge from the pandemic.

What more can we expect from the company in the coming months?

Ooredoo Myanmar delivered a healthy set of results for the first half of 2020 as we grew our customer base and continued its digital transformation agenda. The company’s customer base increased 34% to 14.8 million in H1 2020 compared to the same period last year and revenues increased by 8% during the first half of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.

Against a challenging climate amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the company has remained sharply focused on enabling people and businesses to continue their daily lives and business operations in a safe way by providing digital solutions and uninterrupted connectivity and services for customers, while optimising data traffic flows across fixed and mobile networks. Internally, the company continues to observe strict measures to enhance health and safety of employees through work from home initiatives.