Qatari telco rebrands in Barcelona, names footballer Lionel Messi as brand ambassador
Qatar’s state-owned telecommunications firm, Qtel will now be known as ‘Ooredoo’, which means "I want" in Arabic.
The rebranding, which was widely expected, came during the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona.
The former incumbent said that the new brand will also be adopted by various international telcos in which it has a controlling interest in a process that should be completed by the end of next year.
Those companies include Indosat in Indonesia, Wataniya in Kuwait, Nawras in Oman, Tunisiana in Tunisia, and Nedjma in Algeria.
Qtel has been flexing its financial muscles in recent months, raising its ownership in Iraq’s Asiacell to 64 percent following the firm’s US$1.24bn IPO in January. Last year, the company increased its stake in Kuwait’s Wataniya to 92 percent in one of the Gulf’s biggest acquisitions.
It is currently vying with the UAE’s Etisalat to buy Vivendi’s 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom for around US$6bn.
In the third quarter of 2013, Qtel reported a 74 percent increase in net profit to US$294m, while profits rose by 6 percent year-on-year.
Qtel also announced that the Barcelona football player Lionel Messi had become its new global brand ambassador, extending the Gulf states link with the Spanish side. The Qatar Foundation is currently the club’s main shirt sponsor, although Qatar Airways will take on this role from next season.