Freedom call

Liberalised telecoms markets represent an opportunity for new market entrants to offer fresh services.

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By  Adrian Bridgwater Published  May 24, 2008

Specifically, unprecedented deregulation and the increased competition from new operators means that we need to stay focused on our customers' needs and innovation.

Continuous improvement in customer service, consistency in our dealings with customers, better value for products and services, new offers to customers through marketing and technology innovation, quicker time-to-market and better management of our costs, which in turn deliver better benefits to customers, are our key drivers.

"For the foreseeable future we aim to stay focused on growing our internet and 3.5G mobile data services, introducing new offerings and higher speeds. Subject to regulatory approvals we will introduce lower tariffs and bundled offerings that include mobile, internet and fixed line, for specific segments of the market."

The next new service

With the impending launch of new fixed-line services from Verizon in Saudi Arabia, STC's launch as the third mobile operator in Kuwait and Zain's new mobile service in KSA, the scene is set for subscribers to be presented with a range of new choices for telecoms services across the GCC states.

With these new opportunities both the existing and new players are looking for the next new offerings that will capture and retain subscribers.

"The rapid growth in the Middle East and in particular the GCC states represents a large opportunity for both established and new telecoms entrants to offer a range of new services to customers based around location, content and mobile advertising. We believe that there are significant opportunities for GCC telecoms companies to provide home phone services using a standard mobile as well as provide a platform for new value added services such as mobile advertising," said Andrew Grill, general manager, sales & business development for Seeker Wireless.

It's clear that global telecoms companies, manufacturers and industry bodies are ready to increase the momentum for regional telecoms markets to liberalise as soon as possible.

What is not immediately apparent is just how fast this process will happen and it is not an over-night process by any means.

Cost and revenue projection models will follow market evaluation reports; and these will be followed by infrastructural planning and provisioning before we see government legislation passed to see liberalisation start to happen.

But it does happen - and it's already happening around the region.

How soon it arrives on your doorstep will be shaped by much of what we've discussed here.

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