|Industry||Malé, Maldives (head office)|
|Founded||October 1, 1988 - Joint venture of Maldivian Government and Cable & Wireless Communications|
|Mr Ismail Waheed - CEO/MD, Mr Ismail Rasheed - CE|
Number of employees
|630+ full time|
The name "Dhiraagu" is an acronym for Dhivehi Raajjeygé Gulhun (Dhivehi: ދިވެހިރާއްޖޭގެ ގުޅުން)-Literally: Connection of Maldives.
Though Dhiraagu is the first Maldivian telecommunications company, it's not the first to start the service. Telecommunication service in the Maldives was officially started on December 23, 1943, by the Maldivian government. On May 17, 1977 Cable and Wireless started its operations as the telecom provider. Later, in 1988, Cable and Wireless and the government of the Maldives formed a joint venture company, Dhiraagu, making it the first ever Maldivian telecommunication company. The Maldivian government holds 48% share of the company and 52% is owned by Cable & Wireless
- 1988 — Dhiraagu was officially established on October 1, 1988
- 1989 — Major upgrade of copper network in Male
- 1991 — Paging service introduced.
- 1996 — Dial Up Internet service was introduced to Maldives, for the first time under the brand name DhivehiNet.
- 1997 — Mobile phone service was introduced with Advanced Mobile Phone System Technologies.
- 1999 — Mobile phone service's platform changed to GSM
- 2005 — On June 23, 2005, Dhiraagu rebranded and introduced a new logo.
- 2006 - Dhiraagu introduces ADSL services to Maldives
- 2006 - In Feb 2006 Dhiraagu initiated world record dive helped to put Maldives onto Guinness world record book
- 2006 - Dhiraagu connects a submarine cable with Sri Lanka
- 2006 - Dhiraagu establishes domestic fiber optic submarine cable
- 2010 - Dhiraagu introduces 3G HSPA services to Maldives
- 2013 - Dhiraagu introduces 4G LTE services to Maldives
- 2014 - Dhiraagu introduces VDSL services to Maldives under the brand name "UltraFast Broadband"
Tier 2 Network
On September 18, 2005 Dhiraagu signed an agreement with Sri Lanka Telecom for an Optical Submarine Cable System. Under the agreement, both companies will invest in maintaining the cable. The actual work of laying the 837 km cable was done by NEC of Japan, under a contract valued at US$ 22.7 Million. On November 14, 2006 the cable was connected to a landing site at Hulhumale', Maldives. This Tier 2 network has an initial transmission capacity of 3 Giga bit per second (Gbit/s), which is capable of being increased to up to 160 Gbit/s. The system adopts WDM, or Wavelength Division Multiplexing. This is the second submarine cable connecting Maldives to the world.
Dhiraagu stated that this cable will help the company to reduce the cost of providing Telephone and Internet services, thus reducing prices. Also the cable system will help to improve quality of services.
Dhiraagu has long been seen to Monopolise the telecoms market in the Maldives, a situation it is accused of having created and maintained. Until 2004 the Telecommunications Authority of Maldives had refrained from issuing additional licenses to companies preventing any competition to all of the telecom services provided by Dhiraagu. This status quo may have been deliberately retained by the Maldivian government in an effort to profit from Dhiraagu's revenues, as it partly owns the company.
Dhiraagu was also heavily criticized for what the public describes as absurdly high prices during the 1980s and 1990s. Foreseeing competition and regular criticism from the public, the company had dramatically lowered the service prices.
Raajjé Online (ROL), established in 2003, became Dhiraagu's first competitor. ROL is the second Internet Service Provider.
In 2005, Wataniya Telecom International - a Kuwait telecom company (now owned by Ooredoo Group; also merged into the Ooredoo Group) - was awarded the license to operate as the second mobile phone operator. They formed Ooredoo Maldives (formerly Wataniya Telecom Maldives) and started operation on August 1, 2005.