Dhiraagu re-registered as public limited company

Telecommunications company Dhiraagu has re-registered as a public limited company (Plc).

The company actively took the name Dhivehi Raajjeyge Gulhun Plc, however it will continue to use the brand name Dhiraagu.

Dhiraagu is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the Maldives, along with Wataniya. It is also one of the country’s most profitable companies.

On 24 August this year, the Maldivian government revealed a plan to turn over one-third of its shares in Dhiraagu to the public. The sale was expected to generate Rf 1.46 billion (US$95 million).


Wataniya launches Blackberry service in the Maldives, enabling secure private communications

Mobile operator Wataniya last night launched the Blackberry service in the Maldives, at a ‘black suit’ event held in the National Art Gallery.

Beyond just a range of smart-phones allowing for ‘push’ email connectivity, the Blackberry service is one of the world’s largest private networks with 67 million subscribers and 14.8 percent of the global smartphone market.

The device, produced by Canadian technology company Research in Motion (RIM), grew in popularity on the back of business and corporate users, attracted by its security features, reliability and strong encryption.

The event last night opened with a dance by a man in a glow-in-the-dark jumpsuit, and a band playing the Beatles tune ‘All you need is love’.

Vice President of the Maldives Dr Mohamed Waheed remarked that RIM’s decision to enter the market in the Maldives “is a vote of confidence in the business environment of our country, and for that we are grateful.”

Dr Waheed also noted that the introduction of consumer and business-grade secure communications in the Maldives was “an indication of how our country has matured”, and “an indication that our country is comfortable with the freedoms that we have; particularly the freedoms of expression and democracy.”

“This is an important step towards the improvement of commerce and business in the Maldives,” Dr Waheed said, adding that the country’s “dynamic, highly literate and IT savvy youth” would ensure “a bright future” for Blackberry in the Maldives.

Chief Operating Officer of Wataniya Stephen Smith said the company was proud to enter in partnership with RIM, “to provide the highly anticipated service to customers in the Maldives for the first time. Blackberry provides a meaningful and secure connection to enterprise email and other important systems, and we’re glad to be able to provide this capability to our customers.”

Canadian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Bruce Levy, meanwhile observed that without their Blackberries, the Canadian government “would shut down overnight.”

“The first thing I saw when I landed in the Maldives was a fleet of twin otter seaplanes, many of which are piloted by Canadians. The delegation tonight is staying at Four Seasons, an eminient Canadian hotel chain, and the President is off to the Toronto International Film festival this weekend,” Levy said.

“It is a great time to be Canadian in the Maldives.”


MNBC managing director resigns

Managing Director of Maldives National Broadcasting Corporation (MNBC) Ibrahim Khaleel has resigned, reports Haveeru this morning, after sending his resignation letter to President Mohamed Nasheed.

Haveeru reported “reliable sources” as claiming that Khaleel was to take over as CEO of the country’s second largest telecoms firm, Wataniya.


Wataniya to introduce 4G service to the Maldives

Wataniya has said it is preparing to launch a 4G network service to the Maldives for the first time.

”The introduction of single RAN aligns with the government’s strategies towards carbon neutrality with over 54 per-cent reduction in power consumption per site,” Wataniya said in a statement. ”Battery life has also increased from 4 hours to 16 hours, and in terms of size, there is more than 80 per-cent in reduction of footprint.”

”Wataniya will soon be testing the 4G network, and over the course of the year, will be introducing new products and services,” said the telco.


Wataniya launches World Cup fantasy league

Mobile provider Wataniya has announced it would launch a fantasy league named ”Wataniya World Cup Fantasy League” for Wataniya customers.

Prizes will be given for winners who participate in the league, which starts on next Friday.

For further information about the Wataniya worldcup fantasy league, customers can either visit Wataniya’s website or dial 929 for Wataniya’s customer helpline.


Vice President launches mLearning

Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed launched Wataniya Telecom Maldives’ mobile learning service yesterday afternoon at the Holiday Inn.

The mLearning system, called Education Anywhere, is an initiative from Wataniya, Mobitel Sri Lanka and the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Colombo.The system has been successfully implemented in the University.

mLearning is an interactive tool that uses the internet to create a virtual classroom anywhere there is a Wataniya broadband connection.

Dr Waheed said the service would open more opportunities in higher education for many students who cannot afford to attend classes, or who cannot leave home for other reasons.

He added the government was looking into the possibility of introducing a similar programme for the health and education sectors.


Lightning strike causes Rf384,000 damage to Hirilandhu

Lightning struck the l, lightning struck the 300 ft tall Wataniya antennae on the Island.

The island of Hirikandhu in Thaa Atoll suffered and estimated Rf384,000 (US$30,000) in electrical damages when a lightning bolt struck Wataniya antennae early on Saturday morning.

Councilor of Hirilandhu Mohamed Shakeeb said the lightning struck the 300 foot antennae around 4:00am in the morning.

”It was raining heavily and it was thundering non stop that night,” Shakeeb said. ”We switched off the generators providing electricity to the island at 3:00am, because they were having problems probably due to the rain.”

Shakeeb said there was no electricity on the island at all when the lightning hit.

”There was a electric line visible that night traveling across the Dhiraagu antennae and Wataniya antennae,” he said.

”All the televisions and computers which were plugged in to the sockets were damaged, cable TV lines were damaged and two channel lines at the power house were also damaged,” he said.

Communication over mobile phone and land lines run by both Dhiraagu and Wataniya were also down.

”We started receiving connection for mobile phones that afternoon and land line services last night,” Shakeeb said.

He said that last time lightning hit the island was 20 years ago “but there was no antennae there, only palm trees.”

Public Relations and Communication manager of Wataniya Niushad Shareef had not responded to Minivan News at time of press.