The main challenge facing telecom operators in Africa is competition and regulatory stability, according to Mr. Abdellatif Bouziani, CEO of telecom provider Smart East Africa Group serving Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi. Speaking to Telecom Review, Mr. Bouziani said governments in Africa have sold too many operating licenses which have forced prices down, but operating costs remain the same.

Read more: Africa needs regulatory stability for operators to grow

Etisalat Egypt has a positive outlook despite fallout from liberalization of the Egyptian pound in 2016 - a move that saw its value reduced by almost 50 percent against the US dollar. Speaking to Telecom Review, Khaled Hegazy, Etisalat Egypt's Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, said the company's positive outlook is based on the size of the Egyptian market and the aspirations of youth.

Read more: Etisalat Egypt confident despite fallout from currency liberalization

As a "hidden champion" of digitalization, Detecon International, a leading German management and technology consultancy, becomes 40 years young (founded 7/7/77). They are Deutsche Telekom Group's own management consultancy that guides national and international clients, including many telecommunications companies, through the process of digital transformation. In an interview with Telecom Review, Peter Krüssel and Falk Schröder, managing partners at Detecon International, talked about how they are helping companies to improve their performance and get them closer to digitization and 5G deployments.

Read more: Detecon: Digitalization and 5G bring new opportunities for telcos

Mobile chipset/platform manufacturer Qualcomm plays an important role in facilitating the next generation mobile technology platform and the internet of things (IoT). As a leading partner of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), Qualcomm enables emerging smartphone brands and connected device manufacturers to expand their global market and product footprint beyond phones into connected ecosystems, explains Jay Srage, President East Europe and MEA, Qualcomm, speaking to Telecom Review.

Read more: Qualcomm’s role in facilitating the next generation mobile ecosystem

NeXgen has rebranded its organization as NXN - following the evolution of the business from a leading consulting services firm to a fully-fledged digital services provider. It has combined its expertise in Smart City consulting and knowledge of the GCC region to become the leading digital services provider in the Middle East. Telecom Review spoke to charismatic NXN CEO, Ghazi Atallah, to discuss in more details the thought process behind the rebranding, its role in smart cities and the digital transformation services it provides for its customers.

Read more: NXN the region’s leading digital services provider

Analyzing data is essential to successful smart city services, Labib Matta, chief business officer at NXN, told Telecom Review. Once a smart city consulting firm, NXN has grown into a full-fledged digital service provider with a list of heavyweight clients. Smart data analytics is the "key cornerstone" of NXN's services, said Matta - the essential component of its growing digital services portfolio.

Read more: Big data at the heart of NXN’s smart city as a service offering

The constant and rapid evolution of technology together with the digital revolution means we are witnessing innovation we never thought were possible before, explains Farid Faraidooni, chief operating officer at du, speaking to Telecom Review about the operator's efforts to ensure its customers' satisfaction and happiness, and facilitate the transformation of Dubai into a smart city.

Read more: We are witnessing innovation never thought possible, says du COO

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