SAMENA Council’s “Convergence to Oman” Conference Highlights Need for Industry Collaboration to Develop a Clear Roadmap Based on Digitization

SAMENA Council’s “Convergence to Oman” Conference Highlights Need for Industry Collaboration to Develop a Clear Roadmap Based on DigitizationSAMENA Council’s “Convergence to Oman 2013” conference kicked off in Oman under the patronage of TRA Oman to discuss the importance of industry convergence and the significant impact of digitization on the industry. The conference is being attended by prominent industry experts and market leaders and will lead to widespread discussions on facilitating the construction of a digital ecosystem that can stimulate and support supply and demand for digital services. The conference which is taking place at the Al Bustan Palace hotel in Muscat concludes tomorrow.

Bocar A. BA – CEO – SAMENA Council welcomed industry professionals and decision-makers to the annual conference, and emphasized the need for the industry to collectively take the lead and collaborate to drive innovation, widen the horizons to look at the big picture to ensure that all spheres of the industry are analyzed, explored and tapped to identify a clear road map for progress.

According to HE. Dr. Hamad Salim Al Rawahi – Executive President – TRA Oman, “The telecom sector is facing a number of challenges driven by an explosive growth in broadband applications and services and resultant demand for bandwidth. Regulatory frameworks also need to be reviewed and reoriented to facilitate emerging business models and changing consumer behaviour. At TRA Oman, we are focusing on these challenges and recommending adaptation of existing rules and regulations to embrace the digital world for the benefit of consumers and businesses. Given these developments, I appreciate the efforts of SAMENA Council in bringing the industry and key stakeholders together at this conference to further enhance the transition to a more inclusive and advanced state of digitization.”

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Amer Rawas – CEO – Omantel said, “As a fully converged operator with a customer centric philosophy, Omantel is committed to working with the SAMENA Council to ensure a sustainable and bright future for our industry. Through the support of the SAMENA Council, we have the opportunity to actively engage in a dynamic and constructive dialogue through this conference to outline the right ICT policies and objectives for the region in addition to discussing how we can best leverage convergence to enhance the overall growth of the industry.”

“The recent trends in the industry emphasize the importance of integration of various technological strands to deliver innovative solutions,“ said Bocar A. BA – CEO – SAMENA Council. “The need of the hour is to collaborate to create a knowledge intensive pool to develop a more informed and innovative industry direction. Since we released the SAMENA ICT Policy Assessment and Digitization Study earlier this year, we have had several rounds of discussions with government and industry stakeholders encompassing national digitization plans and ICT policy frameworks. Taking this forward, the conference will build on our shared consensus on this vital initiative and acceralate the process of digitization as an incentive for continuing network infrastructure investments and to be a key enabler for socio-economic growth in the SAMENA region.”

In terms of the main topics of discussion at the conference, attendees will broadly convene in individual panel sessions to discuss the following:

Day 1 Sessions

· Convergence of Regulations / Next-generation ICT Policies- Cornerstone of digital ecosystem

· International Roaming Rates: Regional Exchange and Agreements to achieve quality excellence and maximize efficiency

· Building an efficient strategic M2M ecosystem

· Cyber Security: Role of Governments and Operators in ensuring secure and stable ICT network, services and applications

· Spectrum Harmonization: Wider Coverage – Cost Efficiency – Affordable Handsets

Day 2 Sessions

· Content Stakeholders Cooperation – Sustainable Internet Business Model Value Chain

· Infrastructure Sharing for Broadband Development: Limits duplication and gears investment toward underserved areas

· Satellite Broadband Reach the Unreachable: high-speed – always-on -bi-directional

· Emergence of Cloud services: Impact on operators’ business model

· Internet Governance: Enabling a truly multi stakeholder dialogue for an interoperable internet

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