Qatar's incumbent telecom operator, Qtel Group, has changed its brand to Ooredoo, which means "I want" in Arabic.
The operator, which made the surprise announcement at Mobile World Congress, said that each of its operating companies in the Middle East, North Africa and South-East Asia will adopt the new brand during 2013 or 2014.
These companies, in which Ooredoo already has a controlling interest, include brands such as Qtel in Qatar, Indosat in Indonesia, Wataniya in Kuwait, Nawras in Oman, Tunisiana in Tunisia, and Nedjma in Algeria.
The announcement was made by Ooredoo chairman, His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani, at a special launch event in Barcelona.
During the event, Ooredoo announced football star Leo Messi as its global brand ambassador, and agreed to support the Leo Messi Foundation as part of the company’s CSR initiatives.
“With Ooredoo we have chosen an Arabic word that means 'I want', to reflect the aspirations of our customers and our core belief that we can enrich people’s lives and stimulate human growth in the communities where we operate,” Al-Thani said.
The invitation-only launch event included presentations by Anne Bouverot, GSMA Director General; Cherie Blair, Chairman of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women; and Dr Hamadoun Toure, Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). It also featured the guest appearance of Qatari Olympic medallist Nasser al Attiyah.