Middle East Growth Underpinned by Government Support

Posted on 1st April 2010

The growth of the Middle Eastern telecommunications sector over the last 10 years has been no accident. Early trails into Africa, Asia and then Europe blazed by Orascom, Wataniya were followed by Etisalat and others. Zain may recently have seen fit to withdraw into its Middle Eastern Heartland with the sale of its African unit – at a substantial multiple of the price it paid – but this is an exception, and the Middle East’s network operators continue to have a strong and growing presence in Africa, Asia and Europe. But while business cases and balance sheets will generally drive commercial ventures, the success of the Middle Eastern operators has been supported by another important pillar: sustained government support.

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Tackling Market Access

Posted on 1st December 2009

The issue of regulation is hugely important for the provision of satellite services in any region of the world. The regulators make the rules in terms of market access to any given country. In some cases, the regulations that new entrants need to meet are complex, licenses can be expensive and no region is the same as the next. Helen Jameson spoke to Zeina Mokaddem, Director of Market Access in the Middle East region for Access Partnership, and discussed the challenges, the recent Global Symposium for Regulators, the economic crisis and the future of regulation in the EMEA region.

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The Digital Dividend

Posted on 26th November 2009

Ross Bateson discusses the Digital Dividend as part of the ITU’s CIS Connect conference in Minsk, Belarus. Presentation on the Digital Dividend took place after a speech by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and before the heads of state of several of the attendant countries took to the podium. Access Partnership works with the GSM Association to ensure that the Digital Dividend is used to help boost universal coverage of mobile broadband.

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UK Ministry of Defence Spectrum to be Released to Public

Posted on 2nd January 2009

Companies undertaking a strategic review of their spectrum holdings and requirements should pay particular attention to developments in Whitehall. The Ministry of Defence (MoD), with rights to 35% of UK spectrum assets, will be required to manage its holdings in a transparent, efficient (read band sharing) and commercial manner, with important spectrum to be released as early as 2010. This is likely to impact the UK spectrum market significantly. In practical terms, it means that the MoD will be using market-based mechanisms to manage its spectrum assets, in parallel it will become an active market participant, procuring spectrum for its own needs.

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Middle Eastern Mobile Telecommunications

Posted on 4th May 2008

The expansion of Middle Eastern mobile operators into new markets became commonplace in the late 1990s and, in 2007, showed no signs of abating. Massive deals were still spurred by booming stock markets allowing, most recently, the likes of Saudi Telecom to expand regionally – and into the CEPT’s sphere – with the proposed purchase of a slice of the Oger empire and with it Turkish mobile assets.

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Shifting Sands in Critical Year: Wireless Policy 2007

Posted on 4th April 2007

The power centre from which decisions about spectrum policy are made has shifted in Europe, and there are shifts underway in the rest of the world too. Last year, national governments in Europe asked the European Commission to figure out whether it could divide the tranche of spectrum that has been made available for mobile satellite service around 2 GHz. In Africa, members of the Southern Africa Transport and Communications Commission (SATCC) have cast doubt on their continued support for pan-African policymaking by suspending their support for the African Telecommunication Union with plans to forge their own way. In the Middle East, those countries with the biggest wireless – not always from big countries – carriers are emerging as those with the most sway in matters of spectrum policy.

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Independent Panel Reviewing Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Communications Networks

Posted on 12th June 2006

Hurricane Katrina had a devastating impact on the Gulf Coast region of the USA, including its communications networks. Every sector of the communications industry was impacted by the storm. The Panel observed that most of the region’s communications infrastructure fared fairly well through the storm’s extreme wind and rain. However, the unique conditions that followed Katrina- substantial flooding, widespread, extended power outages, and serious security issues- led to damaging or disrupting communications service to a huge geographic area for a prolonged period of time.

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