The countries within the Middle East are characterised by significant economic and social differences. While all 15 mobile network operators in the countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council are on track to have commercially launched 4G-LTE by the end of this year, a number of markets in the region still lag behind the global average in terms of 3G penetration.
Mobile is a transformative technology that has already had a significant impact upon the Arab States. Now, as the UAE and other countries in the region begin to pursue ambitious smart city initiatives and mobile broadband connections continue to increase, the role that mobile will play in connecting communities will only become more important.
The GSMA’s one- to two-day conference has a specific focus on regional issues or current industry topics. Each event offers senior executives in mobile and adjacent industries – as well as regulatory and government representatives – the opportunity to learn of industry developments, network with peers, and discuss key regional or topical issues. The two sessions below are more pertinent to the Network 2020 programme:
Conference Agenda – Day 2
09:15 – 10:30 Keynote 1: Strategies for New Mobile Revenue Growth
According to Cisco, mobile data traffic in the Middle East and Africa grew 107 percent in 2013, well above the global growth rate of 81 percent. The Middle East and Africa is expected have the highest average annual growth in mobile data traffic, at 70 percent per year between 2013 and 2018. Despite this impressive growth in data traffic, revenue growth is expected to slow significantly in most markets.
In order to keep pace with demand, improve customer experience and develop new revenue streams, operators must carefully evolve their business strategies and look to opportunities for innovation. This session will explore strategies to improve the customer experience, adapt to new value chains, create new digital services and develop appropriate business models. How can we as an industry ensure the entire digital eco-system from networks to devices and content are optimized for mobile delivery? How can trends like digital identity and trust management unlock innovative and profitable services for mobile operators? Where are the opportunities for growth into adjacent industries and how can operators collaborate with other ecosystem players to accelerate revenue growth? Finally, how should operators prioritise their innovation investments i.e. network innovation versus digital services?
Moderator: Justin Springham, Managing Editor, Mobile World Live, GSMA
Speakers: Scott Gegenheimer, CEO, Zain
Erkan Akdemir, CEO, Avea
Cenk Serdar, SVP, Consumer Unit, STC
Michael Kogeler, COO & CMO, Middle-East & Africa, Microsoft
Cynthia Gordon, Chief Commercial Officer, Ooredoo Group
11:00 – 12:15 Monetising LTE and Profiting from a Transition Towards All IP
With all 15 mobile network operators in the countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) on track to have commercially launched 4G-LTE by the end of 2014, the prospect of brand new services and faster connectivity is exciting for both mobile operators and their customers. Indeed, mobile operators in many markets within this region can take advantage of the favourable combination of low levels of fixed-line connections and high smartphone penetration, which offers great promise for mobile broadband uptake. Yet, although the networks may be ready and usage is increasing, LTE penetration still remains comparatively low in the Middle East. Moreover, as internet-based communications become a viable alternative for customers, mobile operators face potential disintermediation from the mobile voice and messaging value chain. This is arguably the one of the greatest challenges facing the telecoms industry. This session will reveal what operators are doing to monetise their networks and package and differentiate their services in a way that will communicate their true value, moving beyond the basic proposition of faster connectivity in the transition towards an all IP environment.
Moderator: Dan Warren, Director, Technology Standards, GSMA
Andy Rowland, Head, Customer Innovation, Global Mining, Oil & Gas & Automotive, BT Technology, Service & Operations
Noel Kirkaldy, Head, Sales Development TD-LTE, AMEA Region, Nokia
More information coming soon.
Visit us on the GSMA Showcase to join in first-hand on the IP Communications experience.
D2 Technologies and NewNet have teamed-up to demonstrate a truly native IP-based communication experience providing VoLTE calls, video-based calling and Rich Communication Services (RCS) via D2 Tech’s embedded IMS client integrated in the handset device. Using a live LTE network accessed using Node-H’s Femtocell technology with NewNet’s IMS/RCS server and Google Nexus 5 devices from LG, the device’s native phone dialer has both voice call and video call buttons. The in-call screen shows several RCS sharing functions – clearly demonstrating the ‘Green Button Promise’ in action! The communication speed between devices over the network is impressively fast and the user experience emphasises the simplicity of adding in-call options. These include sharing location, sharing video, video call (upgrading an IR 92 VoLTE voice call to an IR 94 Video Call), sending a picture and starting chat.