Teletimes April 2011

SAMENA’s Broadband Summit debates growth strategies and future internet challenges

Delegates from across the region discuss wide-ranging broadband issues, challenges and solutions in Muscat

Telecommunications professionals from the across the Middle East and North Africa met in Muscat on 7th March to discuss the future of Broadband technology at a Summit organized by the SAMENA Telecommunications Council under the patronage of Dr. Mohammad Wahaibi, Under Secretary for Communications at the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

The keynote speeches and debates covered a broad spectrum of issues including the challenge for broadband technology from Next Generation Access, general growth and strategy issues for the sector in both the fixed and mobile area, the importance of building effective Public Private Partnerships for broadband growth and infrastructure and how to stimulate greater demand in the SAMENA region.
Highlighting the importance of creating public private partnership to build next generation national broadband networks as a prerequisite for economic and social development, H.E. Dr. Mohammed Ali Al Wahaibi in his opening speech said, “In many countries building a next generation national broadband network constitutes the single largest infrastructure investment.”
Commenting on the Summit, Thomas Wilson, CEO of SAMENA Telecommunications Council said, “We are delighted to be hosting such a major event in Oman which is increasingly becoming a major regional hub for the telecommunications industry thanks to its excellent geographic position and the leadership role played by Omantel in introducing modern and highly sophisticated telecommunications technology to the nation.”
“Broadband – both fixed and mobile – is one of the fastest growing technologies and we have seen extremely rapid growth across the SAMENA region in recent years. This Summit is aptly timed to discuss and debate key issues that affect its development, and share knowledge and best practices to ensure continued growth and expansion of broadband technology to individuals and the corporate and Government sectors”, added Wilson.
The one day Summit held at the Barr Al Jissah Shangri-La Resort and Spa attracted professionals from the private and public telecommunications sector from across South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. It provided an excellent opportunity for companies to exchange information and experiences in the area of broadband technology which is becoming increasingly important to both individuals and the business sector in region.

The speakers included Gary O’Neal – Chief Technology Advisor, Bocar A BA – President SAMENA, Dr. Amer Al-Rawas – Chief Executive Officer Omantel, Stewart White – MESA Head of Telecoms KPMG (UAE), Hadi Raad – Principal Booz & Co. (KSA), Hugh Collins – Director Inter connect Communications (UK), Thorleif Herrstrom – Prinicpal Advisor Herrstrom, Romain Delavenne – Director Telecom Media & Entertainment Capgemini Consulting (UAE), Ziad Matar – Business Development Director ME – Qualcomm (UAE), Jon Collins – Vice Presidnet Telcordia (UAE), Ms. Saleha Asif – Associate Principal Mckinsey & Company (UAE),  Ross Cormack – Chief Executive Officer Nawras (Oman), Noel Kirkaldy – Director of Solutions Motorola (UAE), Florian Michel Gabriel – ME Network Lead Accenture (UAE),  Hadi Raad – Pricipal Booz & Co. (KSA), Tom Koster – Vice President Speed Cast (UAE), Anil Pande – Director Telecom Marketing FTTH Council Europe (India), Lars O Gustafsson – Vice President Business Development Omantel (Oman), Emmanuel Durou – Senior Engagement Manager value Partner (UAE), Dr. Karim Taga – Managing Director Arthur Dlittle (Austria) and Jeremy Foster – Head of Marketing and Government / Industry Relation Ericsson (UAE).

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