Spacetel offers more for information [Archives:2004/775/Business & Economy]

September 23 2004

By Peter Willems
Yemen Times Staff

This week, Spacetel Yemen launched two new services that provide customers with a wide range of information including regional and international news bulletins.
Spacetel customers are now able to subscribe, via Short Message Service (SMS), to receive news from two leading media agencies, Reuters and Al-Jazeera.
“We are the leaders in providing information services,” said Walid Akkaoui, Marketing Manager at Spacetel in Yemen. “Spacetel focuses on customers' expectations and needs. These new services will provide the latest of what GSM technology has to offer.”
The new services allow Spacetel customers to receive an abundance of news information. Customers using Al-Jazeera, based in Qatar, can keep up with political, financial, sports and breaking news.
“As soon as Al-Jazeera sends out a news item, our customers will receive it,” said Akkaoui.
Al-Jazeera has hooked up with six other telecom operators in the Middle East since it first started the service last year.
A month ago, Spacetel launched an information service by working with, a content provider for information services in the Middle East. It provides GSM operators with many different kinds of information – from entertainment, news and the weather, to beauty tips and music in either Arabic or English.
Competing with Sabafon since 2001, Spacetel has always tried to be the leader in providing innovative new services.
When it first opened shop in Yemen, it introduced numerous services, such as SMS, voice mail, conference calls and call forwarding. Last year, Spacetel launched UniMail, allowing customers to deal with email, faxes and voice messages in one mailbox.
The GSM operator allows clients with permanent lines to use Scratch Card Payment so that they can buy a card locally, instead of traveling to a branch, to pay for using Spacetel. Customers can also be informed that they have missed calls when their phones are off, or out of coverage, by using Spacetel's Super Clip. Earlier this year, Spacetel gave its customers a chance to interact on satellite television and track their packages using leading courier services in Yemen.
Now that Sabafon and Spacetel's exclusivity of the market has expired, they will be facing more stiff competition in the future. Yemen Mobile, a government-owned telecommunications company, planning to use the CDMA communication system, is expected to enter the market at the end of this month. One or more additional GSM operators are also expected to compete for the Yemeni market next year.
According to Akkaoui, Spacetel believes that by focusing on being the leader in offering new services to Yemeni customers, it is prepared to take on more competition.
“We find it an opportunity, not a threat, to show ourselves as the best in the market for customers,” said Akkaoui. “It will be a good opportunity to be better and better at meeting customers' expectations.”