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

The CEO of Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Dr. Khaled Bin Hussain Biyari, participated in the Saudi-US Business Opportunities Forum, which was organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in conjunction with the US-Saudi-Business Council.

During the "ICT as Enabler for a Knowledge-Based Society" session, Biyari spoke about the Digital Revolution the world is witnessing. He stressed the role of telecommunications companies in the Digitalization of Saudi Arabia labelling it as fundamental to the national transformation program being implemented by the government. Biyari asserted STC's capabilities as a sector leader, highlighting its role on three levels: Enabling Platforms, ICT Infrastructure, and Innovation Infrastructure, all of which serve to cater to market demand from different segments.

"strives for technological empowerment through its investments over the years in business incubators," said Biyari.

The CEO of STC also touched on the company's efforts towards technological empowerment through investing in incubators. The latest such venture was InspireU, which began operations in 2015 focusing on supporting innovation in IT and telecommunications and fostering initiatives across Saudi Arabia and the MENA region.

Dr. Biyari also shed light on STC's massive investments to upgrade its network, including fibre optics, international marine cable alliances, and cloud services, all of which are designed to ensure optimum quality of service and provide customers with automated and efficient services. Biyari said that in recent years, STC invested more than SAR 7 billion to develop its infrastructure.

He called for an environment that supports the telco sector business activities as well as investments in infrastructure. Biyari stressed the importance of differentiating between consumer protection and market protection in order to stimulate and support investments in the sector. He said that such differentiation enables telcos to develop the sector while focusing on stimulating SMEs.

It is worthy to note that the Forum aims to bolster developmental and investment relations between Saudi Arabia and the US, and allows those interested to benefit from success stories and existing opportunities to bolster commercial relations between the two countries. It does this via the presence of a large number of businessmen and by setting up a number of workshops and sessions covering vital sectors.