Telecom operators advised to diversify

Regional ICT sector highlighted as a ‘real opportunity’ for telcos in new whitepaper

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  November 16, 2008

To deal with an inevitable slowdown in regional telecommunication growth, operators are being advised to look at new revenue opportunities.

The Middle East enterprise ICT sector is highlighted as a ‘real opportunity’ in the latest whitepaper by telecom advisory firm Delta Partners.

“The Middle East markets, in particular UAE and Saudi Arabia, are expected to see significant growth rates in ICT managed services spend in the coming years,” said Andrew Snead, associate partner at Delta Partners, adding that it “…represents a significant opportunity for operators and one they should embrace very positively.”

It credits recent government development programs such as the creation of economic cities and the e-enablement of schools, coupled with new connectivity demands for the real estate sector, as key drivers of the sector.

While the ICT market does hold a lot of promise, Snead is keen to point out that it will demand new capabilities from operators and a business culture different to that found traditionally within the telecoms industry.

“Venturing into the ICT services sector requires a significant shift in focus from the traditional telecoms business, particularly as operators move towards the pure IT-end of the value chain. Operators should therefore consider their approach carefully. This is not a one-size-fits-all market, as demonstrated in Europe, where only some operators have created positive shareholder value,” warned Snead.

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