6 Dec 2012

See you next year at Middle East Com | 23-24 September 2013

*** Share your thoughts on this year’s event #MECom @allaboutcom

The second day of Middle East Com opened with Nokia’s view of the smartphone market. Shiv Shivakumar, Head of India, Middle East and Africa at Nokia outlined key drivers for the growth of the smartphone and consumer tablet market as  education, entertainment and experience. Shiv was joined by Blackberry’s Managing Director for the Middle East - Sandeep Saihgal to answer questions about the direction of device manufacturer strategies, and future partnerships with telcos.

Day 2: Nokia's Keynote Session
The keynote content panel featured MBC, d1g.com, SOUQ.com and On Demand Group.  Panellists discussed their mobile specific strategies and the consumer desire for content on the move.  Panellists agreed that regulation remains a challenge, and that while content is being accessed on the move it is not being translated to mobile commerce at this stage.

Day 2: Content panel featured MBC, d1g.com, SOUQ.com and On Demand Group

A key highlight of yesterday was the LTE stream, with speakers addressing a packed conference room to update on the region’s LTE deployments.  The MVNOs Middle East conference continued yesterday, with a keynote presentation from Renna’s CEO Joakim Klingefjord and an extremely popular regulatory panel discussion following a presentation from the Saudi regulator.

Day 2: The LTE session 
Extended networking sessions, the introduction of speed networking and Dubai’s newest venue helped to make this another successful Middle East Com and we look forward to welcoming all to Middle East Com 2013 on 23rd-24th September next year.

Day 2: Speed Networking Session

What are your thoughts on this year's Middle East Com?

Tweet about your experience using #MECom @allaboutcom on twitter!

Take a look at more photos from the conference

See below:

- Driving innovation in Digital Ecosystem - presentation by #Etisalat VP of Commerce at #MECOM: http://twitter.yfrog.com/oc2w5nczj

- Coffee break at #MECOM: http://twitter.yfrog.com/hwl1znvj

- Members of #Huawei team at #MECOM: http://twitter.yfrog.com/hs263dbj

What our attendees said about this year's show:   

“Congratulations to all of you for a job well done!! This is by far the best Informa show I’ve attended.”
Rasky Espineli Rasco, CEO & Founder, GSG-OptoTech FZE

“Lovely event and I definitely encourage more telecom professionals to attend next year. Informa is awesome!”
Ayman Irshaid, CEO, Areeba Areeba

"This was a fantastic opportunity to meet both the telecom operators in the region and the OTT players and explore future opportunities and cooperation in area of digital telecommunication."Said Al-Shanfari, Department Head – Business Development, Nawras, Oman

“I would have to admit that when I first heard about Speed-networking, I was not too sure of what to expect. However, it has been for us a great success and found it extremely well organized and interesting. Meeting people for 2 minutes each time and even if you do not end up with a relevant operator, you shake hands and go to the next person. I have had the opportunity to meet many relevant people which was my reason of being here.”
Ramon Valero, Sales Account Executive, Open Wave Mobility (Sponsor)

“Middle East Com 2012 was really very informative and interactive. It gave me the opportunity to meet & know operators, delegates, vas vendors & consultants under the same platform. One of the most fruitful and organized conference I have attended. Full marks to the organizers!”
Muzammil Ali, VAS Delegate, Ericsson

“An exhibition/conference focused on the cutting edge of Telecom Technology. I think it is the ideal event to catch up with the largest solutions to network systems, the vast array of applications and choices available in the market place”
Stafford Batchelor, Managing Director, Batchelor Associates

“The overall attendance to this event has enhanced our experience through learning and listening to other telecom professionals experiences and exercises. It has been a pleasure to have attend this event.”
Atef Attili, Retail Sales Manager, Paltel

Thank you to all the Sponsors of Middle East Com 2012

Comviva * Comverse * Comza * Bics * Blackberry * Huawei * CSG International * Tellabs * Openwave Mobility * Analysys Mason * Wimax Forum * Effortel  

See You Next Year!

To get involved early for the 2013 show,
please visit our website:

Middle East Com 2013
23-24 September 2013
JW Marriott Marquis, Dubai,
United Arab Emirates 

4 Dec 2012

The 17th annual Middle East Com opened today in Dubai...

***Join us for Day 2!***    Share your thoughts on #MECom @allaboutcom 
The 17th annual Middle East Com opened today at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai.  

Delegates enjoyed an inspiring keynote speech, presented by Osman Sultan, CEO of du. Mr Sultan focussed on the expectations of the new digital generation, and the role of the telco in meeting those expectations. Du’s CEO acknowledged the need for partnership, between OTT players and telco’s, and between telco’s themselves. He emphasised the need for openness and scaleability to embrace in order to realise the potential for innovation and creativity in the digital world.

Delegates at the Keynote session

The theme of innovation was continued during a panel featuring Etisalat, du, Areeba Areeba and Pinger. The panel were questioned on whether operators had it in their DNA to innovate – or would it be preferable to leave that to the small entrepreneurial start-ups?  The operators emphasised the benefits they can bring to the OTT players – with a focus on their billing capabilities, authentication of users, and the vast information they have about their customers.

Ihab Hinnawi the CEO of @Ihinnawi #Umniah @Umniahbelong in a panel at #MECom

An interview with Google’s Mohamad Mourad continued the theme of innovation, with delegates being given an insight into the internet giant’s creative strategies.  Mr Mourad emphasised the need for bottom-up thinking, and the importance of attracting the most talented professionals to develop a truly innovative proposition.

Speed Networking at #MECOM well attended by VIP operators & vendors

With break-out streams focussing on Digital Services, Transforming Network Economics, Customer Experience Management and MVNOs, delegates were treated to a comprehensive insight into the opportunities available in the Middle East’s digital world.

Tomorrow’s keynote sessions feature Etisalat, Nokia, Samsung and Blackberry, together with leading content developers showcasing the progression and development in localised Arabic content.  The break-out sessions feature the 2nd day of MVNOs, alongside a focus on Mobile Money, Mobile Marketing and LTE.

We look forward to seeing you at the second day of Middle East Com.

Make sure to join us for Day 2
There is an outstanding speaker line-up for day 2 of the event as well -  
make sure to join us tomorrow!  
What are your thoughts on this year's Middle East Com?    

Tweet about your experience using #MECom @allaboutcom on twitter!

Sponsors of Middle East Com
Comviva * Comverse * Comza * Bics * Blackberry * Huawei * CSG International * Tellabs * Openwave Mobility * Analysys Mason * Wimax Forum * Effortel

3 Dec 2012

How can operators manage the risks of outsourcing?

Written by Ghassan El-Housseini, 
Regional Director for the Middle East, 
With budgets getting tighter and networks getting more complicated, more and more operators are choosing to outsource the management of their networks, letting vendors take on day to day management in return for sticking to clear KPIs and objectives. Operators no longer perceive the network as their key asset, instead focusing on their customer relationships, pricing and perceived service quality.

However this presents a challenge – network and subscriber data are some of the most valuable things an operator has, so by giving away this insight how much are they losing? More importantly, how do they maintain visibility into what subscribers are experiencing?

The answer is not a simple one and the solution lies in the strong governance of vendors. Four factors are crucial in achieving this: transparency, enhanced KPIs, automation and joint decision-making.

The only way an operator can hope to keep control of their outsourced network and retain visibility of network performance and customer experience is through seeing what is going on for themselves. Transparency is central to any successful partnership, providing both parties with the peace of mind that all involved are aware of what is happening across the network and key performance targets are being met. A network management and optimization platform that provides an independent shared view of the live network is essential.  With reducing customer churn being such a major focus area for operators it’s also critical that the quality of experience delivered to customers does not become secondary to managing the network. For this reason, in addition to the traditional network centric KPIs it’s vital that the outsource contract includes customer centric performance metrics which allow quality to be assessed at a granular level by location, customer segment and even handset.

However no matter how stringent the agreed performance metrics they will only be effective if they can be measured.  It’s important to recognise that due to the complexities of managing a multi-vendor, multi-technology network, stitching together data collated by a disparate set of tools can be arduous and costly.  As a result when the pressure is on, it may sometimes be sacrificed in favour of more urgent matters.  The only viable solution is a single fully integrated platform, where data collection and analysis is fully automated and reports and dashboards can be produced speedily and easily. 

Finally, with limited time and resource available it’s important to ensure that network optimization efforts are not wasted on activities which have little impact upon customer experience.  For example by correlating the operator’s customer data such as churn records and complaints etc. with real customer experience data taken directly from the network it’s possible to see which network issues are negatively impacting subscriber dissatisfaction and therefore which improvements should be prioritized.  Supported by a transparent network analytics and optimization platform with integrated and flexible customer experience analytics capability operators and vendors are able to work together to make better-informed decisions about the network and leverage the full advantages of their partnership. 

Ghassan will be speaking at Middle East Com on 4th December 2012 at 12:00, explaining how operators can retain control of outsourced networks and achieve transparent, systematic governance processes that ensure customer experience and network performance. 

Actix is also exhibiting on stand 4. For more information, please visit www.comworldseries.com/me and www.actix.com.