After hiking up its prices in what seems to have become an annual move, Ooredoo reported a 6% surge in annual revenue, equating to 7.5bn QAR.
The company saw a rapid growth in its full-year service revenue too, as it grew by 5%. Its total earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), were 3.8bn QAR. Additionally, as of 2021, Ooredoo reported its total number of customers to be standing at 3.2 million, compared to 3.1 million users in 2020.
This growth is almost double the amount of year-on-year growth the telecom giant saw in 2020, where it saw a 3% growth in annual revenue, equating to 5.4bn QAR.
The telecom giant attributed the increase in post-paid services, Ooredoo TV, ICT services, and a rise in device sales.
Increase in postpaid monthly plan prices
On December 31, 2021, Ooredoo celebrated the new year by announcing a surprise increase in their postpaid monthly plans. This rise went into effect on February 1 of this year, taking their cheapest plan from 94 QAR per month to 130 QAR.
This is the second time the company increased its prices within less than one year.
The sudden price hike caused anger amongst residents who went on social media to express their frustration. There were calls to boycott the company and switch to its competitor, Vodafone.
Did this already three years ago, and I told the agent:
Cancel all my plans, and I will write it on my will that none of my descendants are allowed to use any of your services ever! 🤣
— بشر الحمصي (@bisheralhomsi) January 2, 2022
Ooredoo boasts some of the highest prices in the GCC. In comparison to the cheapest monthly plans in the GCC, Qatar’s telecom giant has the most expensive rate.
In response to the backlash it received in early 2022, Ooredoo insisted that it added additional services to the postpaid packages, specifying the new advantage of using WhatsApp without data.“
Fined by the Communications Regulatory Authority’s Financial Sanctions Committee
Ooredoo suffered a huge loss in the first half of 2021 as it was fined 3.5mn QAR for engaging in “anti-competitive” conduct and “misleading behaviour”. The CRA imposed these financial sanctions on the telecom giant for violating their instructions on free access and customer protection rights.
Additionally, the company had failed to obtain prior approval from the CRA for their fixed telecom services tariffs, preventing legal control over their offers on the fixed telecom market. This left customers uninformed of Ooredoo’s existing offers.
The move breached the CRA’s customer protection regulations and anti-competitive practices, costing Ooredoo an additional fine of 1.5mn QAR.