With a history spanning over 140 years, Ericsson has proven itself to be a resilient partner for telecom operators looking to monetize into new revenue streams. Speaking to Telecom Review, Rafiah Ibrahim, President of Ericsson Middle East and Africa, said the company's experience and understanding of using automation and processes makes it the ideal partner for telecom operators willing to embrace change.

Read more: Ericsson: Helping operators monetize into new revenue streams

Sofrecom, an Orange Group subsidiary, is a consulting and engineering company in the telecommunications sector. Telecom Review spoke to Sofrecom CEO Guillaume Boudin and managing director of Sofrecom Middle East, Elias Saab, about the company's role in reshaping telecom operators' business models to keep up with industry disruption. 

Read more: Sofrecom: Reshaping operators’ business models

Smart Dubai, an initiative anchored in the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, aims to make Dubai the happiest and smartest city on earth. The organization's visionary leader, Her Excellency Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, Director General, spoke to Telecom Review about the importance of embracing digital practices and data sharing.

Read more: Smart Dubai’s vision of a digital and interconnected city

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.