Opportunity knocks

This year’s CommsMEA Awards aims to recognise the outstanding contribution that the telecoms sector has made to the MEA region’s growth and development.

Tags: Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company Emirates Telecommunications CorporationQatar TelecomUnited Arab EmiratesVodafone QatarZain - Kuwait
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By  Roger Field Published  October 15, 2009

The past 12 months have seen rapid progress in the MEA region's telecoms sector, with new telecom operators launching, new business models emerging, and an ongoing push towards liberalisation in many countries continuing to improve services.

In Qatar, second operator Vodafone Qatar finally launched, challenging the dominance of incumbent operator Qtel for the first time. Meanwhile in the UAE, second operator Du posted some impressive growth figures, which sent a clear message to Etisalat that there is no room for complacency.

Markets already used to competition, such as Bahrain and Jordan, have also experienced their share of change. Bahrain gained its first mobile WiMAX operator, Mena Telecom, which is busy deploying a fourth generation broadband network throughout the country.

Just months after Mena Telecom announced that it has gained some 20,000 users, Zain Bahrain revealed that it started working on the region's first LTE network, indicating the first tentative steps towards a technology that is likely to mark a sea change in mobile communications.

In Africa, ICT developments also showed no signs of slowing. The much anticipated Seacom cable connected the continent to the rest of the world via India and Europe, and operators throughout Africa are now gearing up to offer improved broadband services.

Of course, these are just a few examples of the achievements that have been made by the region's telecom operators, vendors and regulators. While many challenges remain, it is only fitting that the enormous contribution of the telecoms sector to the growth and development of the MEA region is recognised and awarded. And that is exactly what the CommsMEA awards, which is being held in Dubai on December 7, aims to achieve.

The awards are split into 15 categories, covering mobile, fixed line, internet and services. This year, we have also introduced two new awards to recognise the enormous contribution made to the sector by vendors and regulators.

To submit a nomination for the awards, simply visit our dedicated website at http://www.itp.net/cmea-awards/nomination.php and download the nomination form. All instructions and criteria are listed on the website, and nominations can be submitted by email. The closing date for entries is November 12, so it is important for all interested companies to start work on their entries without delay.

Also remember that smaller operators and solutions providers have as much chance of winning an award as the region's leading operators. The reason is simple: Each nomination is judged on merit, and smaller operators and start-ups are just as likely to have demonstrated excellence in their field as the region's heavyweights.

Once we have collated all of the entries, each application will be assessed and judged by a panel of international industry experts and consultants. A shortlist of nominations will be selected and award winners will be announced and presented at the ceremony in December, among 350 plus people representing the cream of the region's telecoms sector.

If you have any queries about how to enter a nomination, please don't hesitate to send me an email me at roger.field@itp.com, or give me a call on 00971 4 210 8419.

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