Fahad Al Hassawi, chief commercial officer, du (Copyright- ITP images) Fahad Al Hassawi, chief commercial officer, du (Copyright- ITP images)

Operators must innovate by creating new digital services if they are to survive and thrive, rather than focusing solely on pricing and tariffs to compete, according to Fahad Al Hassawi, chief commercial officer at du.

In an exclusive interview to CommsMEA, Al Hassawi talked about the digital transformation journey of the UAE telco. When asked about the decline in ARPU in the 2016 results, he said that it's an industry trend, further adding that at times it’s a healthy sign of penetration. "The more you penetrate into the market, and the deeper you go into different sizes of wallets, the ARPU figures tend to change too."

With EITC set to launch Virgin Mobile in the UAE, Al Hassawi said that he does not see much risk of overlap between the Virgin and Du brands. "Though du and Virgin Mobile might have some commonalities, each has its unique appeal and customers can choose based upon their preferences. The two brands will complement each other," he adds.

Sharing an interesting point of view on new revenue streams and business models for telcos, Al Hassawi says how it might be a great idea to do something similar to the model of hospitality industry, wherein hotels charge different fees for different levels of services offered to the customers. Customers might be willing to pay a premium for a great level of experience, and the key to that would be to understand closely the needs and preferences of various kinds of customers in the market.

For the complete interview with Fahad Al Hassawi, stay tuned to CommsMEA.