Awarding excellence

Telecoms professionals converged in Dubai for the third annual CommsMEA awards ceremony in December.

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By  Administrator Published  January 26, 2009

Telecoms professionals converged in Dubai for the third annual CommsMEA awards ceremony in December.

More than 300 people gathered at Dubai's Grand Hyatt hotel in December, for the third edition of the CommsMEA awards ceremony, to see 10 regional operators earn recognition for excellence across 12 categories.

At a time when most people probably take communications technology, from cell phones to broadband internet access, for granted, the CommsMEA awards play an important role in reminding the sector of the over-riding importance of its achievements.

Indeed, with a 10% increase in mobile penetration in developing countries leading to a 1.2% increase in the annual growth rate in GDP, according to the GSM Association, it is obvious that the telecoms sector is having a huge impact on businesses and individuals in the region.

The effects are perhaps best seen in many African nations, where the mobile phone in particular is helping to transform the way people live.

Services such as mobile banking and mobile transfers are giving people in remote areas access to bank accounts and even micro-finance for the first time. The rollout of new mobile and fixed networks is also helping to bring people together and boost opportunities for small businesses.

The CommsMEA awards acknowledge operators and individuals who have taken a lead role in the region's fast growing and rapidly changing telecoms sector, and they pay homage to companies that have invested in the latest technology, implemented winning strategies and developed services that capture the hearts and minds of end-users.

Most of all, the awards aim to recognise those organisations that have helped turn the communications sector in the Middle East and Africa into one of the most dynamic and vibrant in the world.

The awards were divided into four main categories with the first section recognising innovative services and applications; the second focusing on specific aspects of operators' businesses; the third looking at progress achieved by operators in their entirety; while the last category aimed to recognise operators and individuals that have demonstrated a level of commitment to the sector beyond the call of duty.

The winners were selected after a rigorous judging process, which saw nominations made through the Awards' website. Once collated, these entries were then deliberated over by an independent panel of judges, including Jawad Abbassi, founder and general manager of Arab Advisors Group, Akshay Lamba, leader for strategic businesses at Al Futtaim Technologies, and Milan Sallaba, partner, Oliver Wyman. Tie-breaks were decided by taking into account additional reader nominations for each category.

The event was sponsored by Bharti Telesoft, Globitel, Workz Middle East, Delta Partners, RP International, Alan Dick Middle East, Arabsat, LHS and Telenity.

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