By Andy Sambidge
UPDATE 1: Battle for mobile customers intensifies as firm launches website.
The battle for mobile phone customers in Qatar is set to intensify on Tuesday as Vodafone Qatar officially launches its services to the public.
The new telecom operator has opened a website where anyone who wishes to connect to its mobile network can do so by logging onto www.vodafone.com.qa .
The website, which offers English and Arabic versions, has instructions on how customers can register, choose their numbers, and get their Sim pack, The Peninsula reported on Tuesday.
The move comes as Qtel, the country's first telecom operator, announced new deals for the summer for new and existing landline subscribers.
Grahame Maher, CEO of Vodafone Qatar, told the paper that the company picked the online medium to deliver their first services as it was accessible to the public.
“We have had 10 million searches online and 200,000 visitors on our site since we started,” he said.
Vodafone has also announced its tariffs and is offering customers a number of Flexi monthly plans for local and international calling, local and international SMS, roaming and mobile internet.
Customers will pay a single rate for local calls and another single rate for international calls, the paper added.
Once a customer has gone through the process of registering and purchasing the number online, the Welcome Pack, which costs QR50 and contains the SIM card and user guide, will be delivered to his or her doorstep in five to seven days.
Vodafone Qatar will launch later this year its Red prepaid product, which is an equivalent of Qtel’s Hala product.
The company will also open retail stores in Villaggio, Landmark, City Center and Lulu Hypermarket later this month.
The firm is also on track to list on the Qatar Exchange by the end of the month, its CEO has said.
“Everything we need to do, we have done. We are waiting for Qatar Exchange to notify us on the listing,” Grahame Maher told the Gulf Times.
Vodafone Qatar officially launched its services to the public on Tuesday. Shares for its initial public offering (IPO) in April for QR3.38bn ($92.8m) were subscribed to by 82,000 Qatari individuals and 273 individual investors.