Asiacell, Ooredoo’s operator in Iraq, has announced that its empowering “Almas” service (“Diamond” in Arabic) has won a top award at the Global Mobile Awards at the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2013.
The Almas service won the “GSMA mWomen Best Mobile Product or Service for Women in Emerging Markets,” for its support for Iraqi women. The service enables women to be better connected to friends and family, and to become more socially and financially independent.
Dr. Nasser, Group CEO, Ooredoo, said: “On behalf of Ooredoo, I’d like to congratulate Asiacell for winning the Global Mobile Award.
Their ‘Almas’ (Diamond) line has brought tremendous benefits to hundreds of thousands of underserved women in Iraq, and demonstrates our support for the GSMA mWomen programme to reduce the global mobile gender gap. As we continue to develop more life-enhancing services across our footprint in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, we expect that more of our mWomen services will be recognised in the near future.”
Judges praised the Almas line for its innovative features, including “step charging,” which offers a 50 percent discount after the third minute, to enable women to have longer conversations; freedom for women to choose their own off-peak hours; discounted rates for off-network calls; and a free “bye-bye” service that blocks potential harassers from calling or texting.
This service also distributes vital information on women’s health and welfare issues, through a Value Added Services menu with targeted female-focused content.
Dr. Diar Ahmed, CEO of Asiacell, said: “We’re delighted to have won the Global Mobile Award for our ‘Almas’ (Diamond) line, which helps to close the mobile gender gap in Iraq. We are strong believers in the power of mobile technology to empower women both socially and economically, and are pleased by the high number of women who have signed up for our mWomen services.”
Since launching the service in April 2011, Asiacell has seen an incredible response. More than 1.8 million female customers have joined Asiacell, with many signing up for the Almas line. The proportion of female customers in Asiacell’s customer base grew from 20 percent to 40 percent since the launch.
Social attitudes, pricing and the lack of tailored features were all seen as reasons for low mobile penetration among women in Iraq, in addition to the challenges created by the upheaval of recent years. Asiacell blazed the trial of researching women’s wants and needs in this market, and placed particular emphasis of enhancing the customer experience, by providing women-only call centre services and outlets.
Asiacell is a member of the GSMA mWomen Programme, which aims to reduce the global mobile phone gender gap and to enable mobile ownership and more effective usage for women in emerging markets by 2014.
The GMSA Mobile World Congress is the largest communications event in the world, with more than 70,000 visitors expected in 2013. This year the event, which takes place in Barcelona from 25-28 February 2013, is focusing on the “New Mobile Horizon.”Ooredoo, which means “I want” in Arabic, announced its new brand at the event, which will be extended to all operations in 2013 and 2014."