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French Ambassador opens telecoms and multimedia forum in Abu Dhabi

United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, November 28 - 2006 @ 15:45

Titled ‘Building Today’s Next Generation Network’, the forum was also opened by Jean Pierre Giraud, President of the French Business Group. The French Ambassador delivered the keynote address, and Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, Director General of the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, made the keynote speech.

H.E Patrice Paoli said, “There are 1000 telecoms and IT companies in France, and most are present in foreign markets. Around 120,000 employees are linked to the industry. French companies are established partners of Etisalat in international development abroad, and we are exploring extended opportunities overseas.”

The French Business Group in Abu Dhabi is hosting the two-day gathering at the Hilton Hotel with the support of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and UBIFRANCE, the French agency for international business development. National telecoms operators Etisalat and du are main sponsors.

Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, Director General of the TRA said the business model for Mobile TV would be introduced in the UAE in 2007 with an independent body coordinating content for broadcast. Al Ghanim reiterated that VOIP would only be licensed in the UAE through established operators Etisalat and du in the first phase.

The UAE will host the seventh Global Symposium for Regulators in Dubai in February next year, Al Ghanim said. The event will focus on issues concerning next generation networks and welcome nearly 200 representatives of international regulators, government ministries and the Secretary General of the ITU.

Osman Sultan, CEO of du, addressed delegates on the challenges and opportunities facing the UAE’s second national telecoms operator. The forum’s first day also welcomed presentations by leading French companies Alcatel, Bull, Thomson and EADS. Greenwich Consulting is the moderator of the forum.

Salem Al Balooshi, Manager Engineering of Internet Protocol Development at Etisalat, will open proceedings tomorrow with an address titled ‘The evolution of broadband infrastructure in the UAE’.

In a joint conference session, senior representatives of Alcatel Space and Thales will discuss their alliance in the space industry, and Gilles Merle of VIACESS will close the morning session with a presentation on IPTV.

Also on day two, Thomson will explore the potential of mobile TV – and David Rivard, Regional Director of Marais, will present on the laying of underground telecommunications networks. Aida Kalla, Regional Head of Structured Finance at BNP Paribas, will share the financial industry’s perspective on media and telecoms investment.

Jean Pierre Giraud, President of the French Business Group, said, “While the UAE market is well served today, we see tremendous potential to introduce new services, deliver greater efficiencies, and capitalise on the synergies between French and UAE business. Now is the perfect time to allow both French and UAE companies to share perspectives on the way forward for telecoms.”

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Tuesday, November 28- 2006 @ 15:45 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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