The first day of the Beyond Connectivity 2014 conference by the South Asia, Middle East, North Africa region’s SAMENA Telecommunication Council kicked off today at The Regency Hotel in Kuwait, in line with the theme ‘Fostering Economic Growth: Evolving Telecoms & ICT Landscape’. The event is being held under the auspices of H.E. Mr. Mohammad Al-Taani, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners and CEO of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC), Jordan.
On the opening day of the conference, a panel comprising of prominent telecom industry leaders from the Middle East gathered to shed light on several topics including tax reduction policies imposed on telecom operators, infrastructure sharing, pricing and fair competition. Discussions on the second day of the conference will focus upon issues related to diversification of revenue streams with regard to OTTs, development of strategies to overcome spectrum challenges and regional perspective of Net Neutrality.
Speaking about SAMENA Council’s continuing interest in organizing meetings that facilitate strategic dialogue between stakeholders, Bocar A. BA, CEO, SAMENA Telecommunications Council said, “The SAMENA Council has always been keen on providing a common platform for governments and telecom leaders to engage, have a dialogue with each other and cooperate on the full scope of subjects that affect the telecom sector including the impact of technology convergence. The Leaders Roundtable (SALT) is the latest example of one such initiative that we announced, to establish permanent channels of communication between governments and operators’ leaders. The Beyond Connectivity 2014 conference is another step forward in looking ahead to the evolving landscape of telecoms and ICT segment in the Middle East, in line with the rapid emergence of next generation technologies”.
“Several key insights that are of significant importance to the telecom sector, were examined, analysed and brought to the forefront as a result of the panel discussions. Recent steps taken by the Kuwait government and its parliament to discuss the establishment of a telecoms regulatory body in the country also point to the ongoing transformation of the regional telecom landscape and the implications of this initiative was also a topic of discussion at Beyond Connectivity,” he added.
Mohammad Al Taani, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) –Jordan who spoke on the opening day of the conference, said, “The four pillars that Samena is focusing on are very comprehensive in nature to address the sector needs at this stage. They also segregate the roles and responsibilities of the different stakeholders. Concluding this conference with a workable action plan will definitely help our ICT industry fulfil its objectives towards investors, economies and societies across the region.”
Abdul Aziz Fakhroo, CEO, Wataniya Kuwait, said, “As a member of Samena, Wataniya has had a unique opportunity to be a part of the transformation that is taking place across the industry driven by the evolving landscape of the telecom and ICT Industry. On our part, we have invested in Kuwait and we will continue to invest to boost the country’s telecom industry. The Beyond Connectivity conference is a significant initiative by the SAMENA Council in bringing the region’s key telecom industry stakeholders under one platform. At an industry level, the directions and conclusions that have surfaced from the discussions held at the conference today have been very useful in facilitating a broader understanding of all the facets of the telecom industry, with a strong focus on customer centric approaches.”
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