Connect summit to discuss telecom potential and needs

DUBAI - The investment needed for the region's telecommunications sector to reach its full potential will be discussed at Connect, the international telecoms summit organised by IIR Telecoms and Technology. The summit will be held from May 30 to June 2 at the Crown Plaza Hotel.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 8 Apr 2004, 11:52 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:35 AM

Sabine Enthammer, Executive Director, IIR Holdings Ltd. said: "This project is just one of the developments in the dynamic Middle East telecoms scenario. With modern businesses being driven by communication, governments are increasingly allotting more funds to set up a world-class telecoms infrastructure. Additionally, the mobile phone market is growing at a rapid pace, outnumbering fixed lines in most countries of the Middle East. Market studies indicate that up to $3 billion would be invested in mobile network infrastructure in the MENA region in 2003 and 2004. Connect is a need of the hour initiative that will give industry players in the Middle East an overall picture of the telecom scenario over the next decade and beyond, and help them devise new strategies to maximise profits."

Connect is especially relevant in light of the recent signing of a historic agreement between 16 international telecommunications companies, including UAE's Etisalat, for the SMW4 submarine cable. The SMW4 cable, which will stretch from Singapore to France (approximately 20,000km, 12,400 miles), will be an ultra-fast submarine communications link that will transform data connectivity between the Eastern and Western worlds. The cable will cover the following signatory partners: the UAE, Singapore, Malaysia, Algeria, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Italy, Tunisia and France.

"The telecommunications landscape in the Middle East is experiencing marked developments towards deregulation and market liberalisation," said Karim Sabbagh, Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton, another Connect speaker. "The emerging environment raises three fundamental questions for the region: How should Middle East markets be deregulated and liberalised? How far should liberalisation evolve in the region? What are the priorities and prospects for incumbent operators? This summit will help operators stay competitive in the long-run."

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