Cloud adoption is accelerating worldwide: Forbes calculated the compound growth rate of cloud computing at a staggering 19 percent, meaning that its market value will rise from USD 67 billion in 2015 to USD 167 billion in 2020. The Middle East is at the forefront of this trend. Experts forecast that by 2020, there will be a 440 percent increase in datacenter traffic in the region. It is only a matter of time before the cloud supports the whole world.

Read more: Huawei: The intelligent cloud for digitalization of the Middle East

Nokia says that 5G will be a key-enabler for what it is labeled as the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution' and that the next-generation technology has the power to completely transform societal norms in sectors such as manufacturing, transportation, energy and healthcare. Telecom Review managed to secure an exclusive interview with Head of Customer Marketing and Communications, MEA at Nokia, Joachim Wuilmet during GITEX Technology Week.

Read more: Nokia emphasizes 5G is now primarily the technology for industry and Internet of Things

BridgeWave Communications, a market leader in the development and deployment of high capacity microwave and millimeter wave backhaul and front-haul solutions, is set to accelerate its growth and footprint in the Middle East following the regional launch of its NAVIGATOR DT systems at GITEX Technology Week.

Read more: BridgeWave set to accelerate growth in the Middle East with introduction of new products at GITEX

Telecom Operators

Zain Group announced the opening and hosting of the Zain Annual Regulatory Forum in Kuwait. The event took place between 26-28 March, 2017 in the presence of senior Zain Group representatives as well as regulatory team members drawn from across the company's operating companies.

Scott Gegenheimer, Zain Group CEO Operations, and Eaman Al Roudhan, CEO of Zain Kuwait hosted the annual Regulatory Forum in Kuwait; joined by members of the Zain Group Regulatory Team, led by Chief Regulatory Officer Dr. Andrew Arowojolu. Holding the event in Kuwait this year is particularly poignant given advances in the country's own development of its independent regulatory framework with the recent establishment of the Communication and Information Technology Regulatory Authority (CITRA).

Regulatory advances are of increasing importance to the telco industry given the many 3G, 4G & 5G spectrum issues arising coupled with the convergence of the sector with numerous others including banking and finance, healthcare, social media, smart city and digital connectivity.

Today's ICT industry desperately needs fair and balanced, pro-investment regulatory frameworks which promotes consumers' long-term interests across all services and platforms through consistent consumer protection rules, while removing barriers to investments and innovation. If the industry is going to achieve the goals of a connected world with millions or billions of devices inter-connected and consumers and enterprises enjoying a digital lifestyle, we need to re-examine the way our industry is regulated.

As such, it is imperative that operators such as Zain Group take a pro-active approach to navigating regulatory environments, and events such as the Annual Regulatory Framework are instrumental in being able to achieve such.

This year's event focuses on regulatory modernization; optimizing industry costs; enabling digital services; and incentivizing investments in broadband networks, and brings together regulatory affairs representatives from across Zain's footprint, as well as external speakers from consulting companies; vendors and strategic partners. These include participants from Arthur D. Little; Aetha; Analysys Mason; Cullen International; Detecon Consulting; GSM Association; Huawei and Vodafone.

Additional focus areas for the three-day event included spectrum allocation and pricing; regulations governing OTT services; fiber licensing; cost modelling; Zain operations regulatory updates; compliance; and national broadband networks.