Apr 04 2012
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Consolidation and deregulation in the regional ICT industry will drive shareholder and customer value: SAMENA Chairman
Leading industry CEOs emphasize on the importance of creating clusters around the region based on synergy and building anchors to drive consolidation
Dubai - UAE, April 04, 2012:
SAMENA Telecommunications Council's "Beyond Connectivity 2012" conference convened some of the leading CEOs in the region to address the critical issue of consolidation and collaboration during its concluding session yesterday. Members and participants facilitated various insightful and thought-provoking discussions on the first day related to the various challenges and opportunities that operators in the SAMENA region are currently facing with respect to regulatory policies, evolving market dynamics, and emergence of highly competitive and customer-oriented technologies. The "CEO Live Session" kick-started discussions with Mohamed Isa Al Khalifa, Chairman of SAMENA & Group CEO of Batelco, accompanied by other operator Chief Executive Officers, Dr. Amer Al Rawas of Omantel, Ross Cormack of Nawras, Wilson Varghese of Kalimat Telecom and Antti Arponen of FRiENDi Oman, who shared their views and opinions about the various pressing issues that the ICT industry is facing.
Expressing his views on the role and need of consolidation in the industry, Mohamed Isa Al Khalifa said, "The key is to create clusters around the region and use anchors to drive consolidation. Market dynamics have evolved, such that one can no longer be a small player and there is no room for boutique firms, as opportunities are scarce and returns on investment are taking longer." He added that in order to create shareholder value and promote growth, regulators should let companies drive value by setting their own rules. He highlighted the importance of innovation, "The industry must take the initiative and provide the right platform to young talent by becoming their enablers and incubating new ideas to drive innovation tailor-made for the region."
According to Ross Cormack, "Mega mergers in last few years by regional powerhouses have emphasized on the role of total consolidation in order to drive growth, as it focuses on and is driven by customers. The ICT industry has and will continue to be characterized by partnerships and consolidation resulting in larger organizations which can better serve and create customer value thereby driving shareholder value. Instead of competing with OTTP's, we should collaborate and partner with them to fuel sustainable growth."
Earlier in the day, Thomas Wilson, CEO and Executive Director of SAMENA Telecommunications Council said, " Our society is very welcoming of information and it is extremely critical to gather and analyze data in order to understand the highly competitive and rapidly evolving market situation. The Council will conduct a study on OTT in the SAMENA region and share the findings with its member base to enable them to face the challenges of OTT, and build sustainable internet models and digitized ecosystems by leveraging the experience, talent and knowledge available locally to drive innovation."
The conference continued with discussions on open access LTE (Long Term Evolution) Schemes and the future of 4G, and digital dividend and its value for telecommunications. "Beyond Connectivity 2012" concluded with the important issue of Net neutrality in the region.
SAMENA Telecommunications Council is a tri-regional, non-profit telecommunications association that represents over 40 telecommunications operators in 25 markets, representing an aggregate subscriber base of 700 million mobile users, 79 million fixed-line users, and 22 million broadband users. The Council's membership embodies a community of telecom operators, manufacturers, government bodies, academia, and leading global management consultancy organizations. SAMENA's Board of Directors and member companies include the largest regional operators and global multi-network operators as well as new competitive entrants. SAMENA focuses on digitization and broadband investment policies, and aims to promote beneficial regulation and governance that further industry evolution, as well as cooperation among key ICT industry stakeholders. For further information, please visit www.samenacouncil.org or contact SAMENA Communication at +97143642700 or email to (email@example.com).
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