Operators are experiencing stiff competition from new entrants and OTT players, and it significantly impacts their revenue. In addition, they are facing challenges in monetizing their data services. Launch of LTE services requires major investment in terms of license and spectrum fees, new network equipment and increased OPEX. Enhancing network performance is one key lever in the operators' toolbox to help deliver increased data throughput at a differentiated quality level to improve revenue. Enhancing the network performance is a key lever in the operators' toolbox to ensure increased data throughput and improve revenue. Telecom Review sat with Mohamed Samir, head of Services for MEA at Nokia, to unravel this thorny area, and he shared his interesting insights and Nokia's unique approaches for operators to ensure superior network performance.

Read more: Nokia delivers superior network performance to MEA operators

"At this stage, we believe our roadmap and blueprint have covered every dimension to ensure Dubai will be a smart city across all sectors." That's what H.E. Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, director general, Smart Dubai Office, discussed with Telecom Review in an interview about the latest Smart Dubai Office’s achievements and projects that will lead towards transforming Dubai into the happiest city in the world.

Read more: Following the vision

Telecommunication, by far, is one of the most exciting and challenging sectors with insatiable need for continuous innovation. Operators cannot afford to rest while serving superior customer experience to their users. Operators have no other option but to innovate and differentiate by creating a win-win situation for both - telco and the customer. In the growing digital era, internet has fundamentally changed the way we live, work and communicates. Nowadays, we do everything over the internet, be it ordering a burger, buying a mobile, chatting with friends, sharing videos or pictures, watching movies… the list is exhaustive.

Read more: From CSPs to DSP: Stay connected with customers digitally

Transformation was the key topic of discussion when Osman Sultan, the charismatic chief executive of du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company) spoke to Telecom Review. du is in the midst of a massive transformation to make way for a more connected and efficient future for the people of the UAE. Mr. Sultan discussed du’s important role in executing the rollout of the Smart Dubai Platform, which goes hand-in-hand with du’s commitment to cybersecurity, M2M communication, 5G, IoT and achieving Dubai’s smart city vision. Finally, Mr. Sultan touched on du’s involvement at GITEX this year, and his vision for du looking ahead.

Read more: Smarter city: Happier people

Having a ubiquitous, reliable, and high speed broadband network is essential for socioeconomic growth and is pivotal for telecommunication operators' long-term survival. According to Ovum's recent report, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is behind others in terms of both broadband penetration and basic access speeds. In order to remain competitive and take advantage of the opportunities that broadband access can provide, Michael Philpott, practice leader of Ovum's Consumer research practice and author of 'MENA Operators Need to Increase Investment in Broadband Infrastructure to Provide Excellent Quality of Service', believes that operators must invest in developing high quality fixed broadband networks that are capable of delivering minimum speeds of 10Mbps, and that are available and affordable to all. Telecom Review sat down with Michael Philpott to discuss this.

Read more: MENA operators, investment and infrastructure

Digitization has had a profound impact on the UAE, which has proven fairly resilient to the recent economic headwinds triggered by low oil prices and weak global demand, due to its diversified economy which has embraced business opportunities and smart infrastructure. Leading the continuous digitization movement in the UAE is Etisalat Group, which over the years, has spread across 18 countries throughout the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Speaking to Telecom Review, Etisalat Group CEO Saleh Al Abdooli, touched on the phenomenal growth of digitization in the UAE and the opportunities that have emerged for Etisalat as a result. He also spoke about Etisalat at GITEX, as well as its international operations, and the importance of enhancing customer service.

Read more: Etisalat Group: Paving the way for smarter digital solutions and applications

Since its inception in 2010, Es'hailSat, the Qatar Satellite Company, has grown into a major satellite operator in Qatar in the Middle East. Based in Doha, with the aim to be a truly global satellite operator and services provider, Es'hailSat started the operation of its first satellite Es'hail-1 at 25.5° East in 2013 supporting key broadcasters in the region, beIN SPORTS and Al Jazeera Media Network.Es'hailSat President & CEO, Mr. Ali Ahmed Al Kuwari, spoke to Telecom Review about Es'hailSat's strong presence in the region, essential business partnerships, and plans to expand its worldwide satellite footprint.

Read more: Q&A with Es'hailSat CEO about ambitions to expand the company's worldwide satellite footprint

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