- it's live offers breaking news, analysis and features for telco professionals.

  • E-Mail - it's live offers breaking news, features and analysis for telco professionals, and complements CommsMEA magazine.
By  Roger Field Published  June 1, 2011

It's been a busy month at CommsMEA. In between reporting on some of the biggest developments in the industry, we have also been busy establishing a new website dedicated to the region's fast-changing telco sector.

Indeed, May saw the launch of, a website that brings you breaking news, features, special reports and interviews with the region's leading telecom executives.

The website is intended to complement CommsMEA magazine, by giving you the chance to keep abreast of the latest news and analysis on a daily basis.

In addition to the regular features that appear in CommsMEA magazine, the website will also be home to additional features, reports, research and spot polls on important issues such as LTE and market consolidation.

To ensure you don't miss out on a regular fix of telecoms information, you can also subscribe to the weekly CommsMEA email newsletter by clicking here.

You can also subscribe to the hard copy of CommsMEA, and the digital edition of the magazine, by visiting our home page.

The launch of coincided with some major news in the industry, which in turn confirmed analysis of the industry made by some of the region's leading telecom executives last month.

Indeed, speaking at the TMT Finance Conference in Dubai last month, Ghassan Hasbani, CEO international, STC Group, gave an interesting appraisal of the state of the telecom sector and the position of the region's operators in it.

He pointed to seismic changes in the sector which are converging to create potentially difficult times for operators that fail to adapt. Around the world, a surge in mobile data use from smartphones, laptops, and tablets is being driven by the growing popularity of over-the-top services such as YouTube and Skype, which are also showing no sign of slowing.

Against these changes, telecom operators are facing  a relentless decline in prices.

One way that operators can try to address this challenge is through consolidation and various forms of collaboration, from network sharing to shared procurement deals.

Some of these trends already appear to be under way, with M&A back on the agenda since Bharti Airtel moved into Africa last year, and infrastructure sharing and outsourcing gathering pace in the region.

In the past month, a pattern of consolidation in the region has continued. In the aftermath of Etisalat's failed bid for Zain Group, another deal remains in progress. Batelco and Kingdom Holding Company's plan to acquire a 25% stake in Zain KSA, should it reach completion, could offer Batelco some significant benefits in its home market, as well as allowing the company to gain entry to one of the region's biggest telecom markets.

But consolidation is not only taking place among operators. Last month saw Microsoft sign a deal to acquire VoIP giant Skype for $8.5 billion. With Microsoft showing greater confidence in the mobile space since the launch of its Windows Phone 7 platform, the deal with Skype indicates that the use of VoIP on mobile handsets can only grow. It may not be a thought that telcos relish, but they will have little choice but to continue to explore new models to keep up.

2789 days ago
Vinod Mehra

Congratulations on your the launch of new web site.

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