Nº 10 2012 > ITU Telecom World 2012 | Special report
Regional CEO's round table
In a stimulating exchange of ideas between major industry executives from the Middle East, Osman Sultan, CEO of du, said that the disruption being experienced should be seen as a source of new opportunities. “We are all witnessing pressure on our topline revenues as over-the-top (OTT) players monetize more — and we find ourselves at the forefront of sector investment — but no longer at the forefront of revenue”, he said.
Ross Cormack, CEO of Oman-based Nawras urged operators to protect brands by making sure they remained relevant to customers, largely through collaborative business models with new players. “We can take advantage of being part of a larger group, whether within the region or further afield, to benefit from scale, best practice and procurement”, he said, “but we must operate at the local level and respect the rate of change and different behaviour of each individual market”.
Bassam Hannoun, CEO of Watanyia Telecom, agreed. The mobile industry has reinvented itself, from being an expensive purchase for top professionals to becoming accessible to billions of customers. “It will reinvent itself again, with data as the name of the new game”, he observed.
Dr Khaled Al Ghoneim, CEO of the Saudi Telecom Company, suggested that, besides basic provision of bandwidth at low or no cost, a tiered approach would see operators attracting revenue from premium services to a minority.