Riverbed, an American IT company that develops products to improve application performance across wide area networks (WANs), recently commissioned a study surveying 1,000 IT decision makers globally to explore the impact legacy and next-generation networks have on cloud adoption and digital transformation. Telecom Review discussed the findings with Charbel Khniesser, Riverbed's Regional Presales Director for Middle East, Turkey and North Africa.

Read more: Riverbed: SD-WAN essential for building next-generation networks

UAE telecom provider “du” (EITC) has over ten years’ experience dealing with multiple partners from various industries. Bundling everything together that those partners bring to the table means du can give its customers the best value for money and significantly improve processes, said du’s chief commercial officer, Fahad Al Hassawi, speaking to Telecom Review.

Read more: Partnerships benefit customers, says du CCO

Saudi Arabia is going through rapid transformation, according to Deemah AlYahya, CEO of Saudi Arabia’s National Digitization Unit (NDU), a government arm mandated to accelerate efforts to achieve Saudi Vision 2030 objectives, an initiative to diversify the kingdom’s economy away from oil dependence. This transformation, Ms. AlYahya said, will require collaboration, open data sharing and injecting innovation into citizens.

Read more: Saudi NDU CEO: 'We want to inject innovation into citizens'

Telecom Operators

Etisalat Group announced its consolidated financial statements for the 12 months ending December 31 2016.

Financial Highlights for 2016: Aggregate subscriber base reached 162 million. Consolidated revenues amounted to AED 52.4 billion and increased year over year by 2%. Consolidated EBITDA totaled AED 26.3 billion, resulting in EBITDA margin of 50%. Consolidated net profit after Federal Royalty amounted to AED 8.4 billion resulting in a net profit margin of 16% and increased year over year by 2%. Proposed final dividend payout of 40 fils per share for 2016, representing a total dividend payout of 80 fils for the full year and a dividend payout ratio of 83%.  Credit Ratings by agencies S & P Global and Moodys affirmed Etisalat Group's high credit rating at AA-/Aa3.

Financial Highlights for Q4 2016: Consolidated revenues for the fourth quarter amounted to AED 12.9 billion, representing an increase of 3% year over year. Consolidated EBITDA for the fourth quarter totaled AED 6.2 billion resulting in EBITDA margin of 48%. Consolidated net profit after Federal Royalty amounted to AED 2.2 billion resulting in a net profit margin of 17%.

Key Developments for 2016: The UAE, Etisalat's home market, ranked number one globally for the highest fiber network connectivity, with household penetration of 93.7%. Acquisition of the 4G services license in Egypt, 3G in Togo, and universal license in Ivory Coast. Etisalat Group completed the sale of its shareholding in Canar Telecom in Sudan, as part of portfolio optimization. Launched a new Business Unit - Etisalat Digital that oversees the Group digital transformation agenda. Etisalat was the first in the region to conduct live 5G trials, and to launch a live and operational Telco Cloud infrastructure as part of its virtualization plans. Announced as Premier Partner for telecommunication and digital services for Dubai Expo 2020. Delivered integrated Smart City project Dubai Parks & Resorts, which opened in 2016. Etisalat launched commercially VoLTE service; featuring high definition voice and video browsing. Etisalat expanded its mobile commerce capability with the launch of its new 'Etisalat Wallet' service in the UAE.