SAMENA Council’s leadership dinner in Venice defines elements of future success for telecoms and content businesses

The South Asia – Middle East – North Africa region’s SAMENA Telecommunications Council’s Chairmen & CEO’s Leadership Dinner, hosted by Telecom Italia in Venice recently, brought together leaders of the telecommunications and content industries to explore prospects for cooperation and collaboration in order to exploit emerging business opportunities created by the convergence of media to drive further growth and investment in the future.

Preceded by an executive workshop, which was hosted by Telecom Italia in partnership with the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association,  and focused on generating a high-level debate on the future of the telecommunications and broadcasting market in the context of the ongoing global digital revolution, the SAMENA Council’s Leadership Dinner delved into addressing the needs of various stakeholders in the converged telecoms and content landscape; assessing emerging regulatory dimensions and business models; driving innovation at all fronts; and assuring the success of the core business. High-impact areas of the discussion included digitization, sustainability of the telecoms and the media industries, profitable business models that should guarantee future growth, and business transformation.

With the focus on securing the core business, especially when alternative players have also entered the telecoms and content business via the Internet, the discussion reflected the need to create and manage relations between telecom operators and broadcasters. This is especially true since, in the words of Mr. Franco Bernabè, Executive Chairman and CEO, Telecom Italia, “Users want more flexibility, better choice and ease of use. An increasing number of users watch television while browsing the Internet or using other applications on tablets, PCs or smartphones. At home, the second screen – in particular tablets – is becoming the actual companion of the TV set, while users are shifting towards multi-screen offerings.” In such a situation, when video traffic on telecom networks has multiplied manifold, it is also observed that traditional broadcasters face similar challenges to those faced by telecommunications operators.”

With new regulatory frameworks, which should allow fair and justifiable advantage to all the players in the digital content value-chain, innovative means to secure partnerships and combine synergies, and standardization of technologies, such as content compression and protection protocols, both telecoms operators and broadcasters should be able to create new trends to enhance their business’ growth and help sustain future investments for the greater benefit of end-consumers.

On this occasion, Mr. Bocar BA, Chief Executive Officer, SAMENA Council, witnessing the success of the Leadership Dinner, said, “We have truly been privileged by the presence of the leaders of the global telecoms and broadcasting industries in our 4th Chairmen & CEO’s Dinner. I believe, our executive participants have shared their insights and concerns in a very personal and frank manner—and such an approach is key to addressing issues that really need to be voiced across industries and across stakeholders. Telecoms operators and broadcasting companies need both policy-level support as well as each other’s support to convert the existing challenges into beneficial opportunities.”

The SAMENA Council, in accordance with its organizational mandate, continues to emphasize on the need to transform business models across industries, especially as the adoption of digital services, applications, and tools gains greater adoption across the region. In such a situation, the SAMENA Council believes that there is a requirement to accelerate the adoption of digital services, while protecting the interests of all stakeholders and investment groups, so that investments are sustained and next-generation networks are put to their best use for providing best-quality integrated telecommunications and content services.