GULFCOMMS key to Middle East market

Exponential growth in the Middle East telecoms sector ensures Dubai's annual GULFCOMMS expo remains a must-attend event for the industry's major players. CommsMEA rounds up the major developments from this year's show.

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By  Administrator Published  October 6, 2007

Despite claims that this year's GULFCOMMS attracted a smaller attendance than previous shows, the exhibitor list read like a who's who of the regional telco industry.

GITEX Technology Week organiser Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) countered these claims, publishing figures which suggested that the show attracted an unprecedented number of major decision makers compared to previous years.

aeCERT will facilitate the detection, prevention and response to the broader set of cyber security incidents on the internet.

Increased market segmentation forced the organiser to review the structure of this year's GITEX Technology Week, dividing the show into three distinct sections: GITEX Business Solutions, Consumer Electronics and GULFCOMMS.

In terms of major industry developments, GULFCOMMS did not fail to impress.

A highlight was the announcement by UAE telco regulator and event sponsor the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), that it had contracted US software developer Symantec to play a key role in developing the country's first computer emergency response team (aeCERT).

The main aim of the aeCERT initiative is to encourage safe and secure eCommerce developments within the telecommunications sector. The initiative is scheduled to be officially launched in April.

"The aeCERT constitutes a cyber security coordination centre in the UAE. This initiative will facilitate the detection, prevention and response to the broader set of cyber security incidents on the internet," said Mohamed Al Ghanim, TRA board member and director general, at the event.

"The aeCERT will also provide a central trusted point of contact for cyber security incident reporting in the UAE and will establish a national centre to disseminate information about threats, vulnerabilities and cyber security incidents."

Symantec's most recent half-yearly internet security threat report (ISTR) ranked the UAE 40th out of 180 surveyed countries, as the country of origin for ‘phishing attacks' generated by online fraudsters.

Symantec also used the announcement to highlight the associated risks of online fraud including: data theft, data leakage and the creation of targeted, malicious code that can be used for financial gain.

Mohammed Gheyath, director of technical affairs at the TRA, said the Authority‘s technical team would benefit from Symantec's input.

"The TRA has always lead the development of such initiatives. This deal will prove critical to maintaining the UAE's status as a regional business hub," he said.

"[We must] safeguard critical information and communication technology infrastructure residing under the government, business, and education sectors."

TRA's Al Ghanim also revealed at the show that the entrance of a third telco in the UAE market was ‘inevitable'.

UAE incumbent operator Etisalat underlined its confidence of maintaining its dominant position by unveiling a suite of new ICT services as well as a raft of new consumer-orientated offerings.

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