Leading decision-makers from the Middle East’s telecommunications sector will be updated on the move toward greater liberalization, the third generation of mobile technology, and the future direction of the region’s communication industry during the upcoming 3rd Middle East Telecoms Conference, it was announced Wednesday.
Telecoms experts are predicting that 2005 will be a year of dynamic change in the market, with more countries opening up their industry to competition from domestic, regional and international operators. Incumbent operators are being urged to assess the consequences of increased competition so as to maintain and strengthen their current positions.
“Over the next year, many changes can be expected in the Middle East telecommunications sector as governments open up the industry to competition,” said Mohammad Hassan Omran, Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat, who will address delegates about Etisalat’s emergence as a regional telecoms leader.
“The challenge for providers of telecoms services will be to align their operations so as to ensure competitiveness in an open market. Etisalat is a prime example of a company making major changes in its strategic direction. This year will see some fundamental changes in our sector, which will have long lasting implications on the industry in the future.”
Customers in the region are expected to be the biggest winners of increased liberalization of the region’s telecommunication industry, with price cuts, improved service levels and new services being offered.
Case studies on Egypt, Iran and North Africa will feature during the conference. Other subjects include GSM opportunities in the region’s emerging markets, the future of the Middle Eastern internet and developing value added services.
The two-day conference in Bahrain will focus on what these changes mean to the industry, customers and regulators. A series of panel discussions will develop these themes, with contributions from Andreas Avgousti, general director, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Bahrain; Azza Torky, vice chairman, Telecom Egypt; and Ahmed Mahjoub, chief executive officer, Tunisie Telecom.
“Telecommunications in the Middle East is undergoing a revolution that will see new operators enter the market, and new services offered to consumers,” said Edmund O’Sullivan, chairman of the conference and editorial director, MEED. “These changes will have a lasting impact on the industry and it is crucial that those involved in it keep themselves updated on its latest developments.”