Thought leadership

Telcos play a key role in enabling a digital economy

24 Sep 2019

Today digital proliferates the telecom industry with digital services deeply embedded in our business models. We are also enablers for other industries providing connectivity solutions to grow in the digital economy, said

Hatem Dowidar,
CEO International, Etisalat,

In his opening remarks at Telecoms World Middle East and Carriers World Middle East 2019.

“Etisalat pioneered the 5G launch in the MENA region through its commitment and focused efforts on key strategic priorities that has enabled smarter digital offerings and transformed the ecosystem. This has opened up opportunities to engage with business and customers in new ways.”

The 15th Telecoms World Middle East and Carriers World Middle East is ongoing at Conrad Hotel in Dubai on 24-25 September. The event is among the biggest and most influential telecom events in the region focusing on the latest developments transforming the telecoms industry, such as 5G networks, AI and automation. Discussions covered strategy, innovation and partnerships for the telecoms ecosystem.

Etisalat chief executives were part of panel discussions and roundtables moderated by global and regional experts in the region. Hatem Bamatraf, CTO, Etisalat International, was a key panelist in the opening CEO keynote panel on ‘Driving digital transformation in TMT: a 2030 vision’. Key topics were reinventing the current telco to thrive in the future, offering a multi-service player with a wide range of digital services; developing the most efficient business models and strategies to grow in the digital era. These discussion topics are in line with Etisalat’s overall strategy of ‘Driving the Digital Future to Empower Societies’.

Dr. Kamal Shehadi,
Chief Legal and Regulatory Affairs Officer, Etisalat International,

Participated in a keynote panel on ‘5G rollout: will the Gulf win the race?’. Panelists deliberated on a wide range of issues, including tapping into the 360 million mobile subscribers in the region; examining the need for private sector investment to deliver 5G goals; explaining the economic benefits and social benefits of next generation network deployment; and evaluating the necessary regulations to enable deployment and causes for concern.

Ali Amiri,
Group Chief Carrier and Wholesale Officer, Etisalat,

Took part in a panel discussion on ‘Breaking boundaries in the ME: what opportunities lie ahead?’ A multitude of topics were discussed such as accessing emerging markets in the Middle East (ME) for global and regional carriers, capitalising on the geographical advantage of the UAE and neighboring countries, and driving the ME to become the subsea terminal hub between Europe and the Far East.

The panel also looked into highlighting best practice to avoid cable congestion; improving connectivity between existing subsea cables; and boosting capacity to meet the massive growth in data, IP and content demands between Asia and West Africa via the Middle East.

Other Etisalat senior executives who participated in panel discussions were Omar Al Zaabi, Vice President – Product & Capacity Management, Etisalat; and José L. López-Villén, Director of Open Innovation & IoT Partnerships, Etisalat.

On the event’s second day, Gonçalo Fernandes, Senior Director Emerging Technologies and Design, Etisalat Digital, will take part in a ‘fireside chat’ on ‘Blockchain for telecoms: a new digital transformation tool’. Robert Middlehurst, Vice President/Regulatory Affairs, Etisalat International, will share his insights into ‘Regulating AI: a matter of urgency?’

Abid Mustafa,
Director Strategy and Customer Experience PMO, Etisalat,

Will present a case study on ‘Documenting Etisalat’s Robotic Process Automation (RPA) journey’. He will cite the benefits of effectively automating human interaction with computer software to carry out tasks autonomously; increasing responsiveness to disruption by streamlining tasks; and keeping the end user in mind by overcoming major challenges.