Press Release

Press Release

SAMENA Council's "Convergence to Kuwait" Engages Telecom Operators, Regulators, and Technology Providers to Promptly Address Digital Transformational Requirements in the Region

Dubai - December 6, 2017 - Held in Kuwait City With the patronage of the State of Kuwait’s Communication and Information Technology Regulatory Authority (CITRA), and with participation from leading regional telecom Industry Stakeholders, including STC, VIVA Kuwait, ZAIN Group, CISCO, HUAWEI, TRA Bahrain and Etisalat, SAMENA Council's CONVERGENCE TO KUWAIT conference, the last major public & private-sector event for 2017, delved into industry discussion areas central to future ICT policy-making, the creation of a digital society, and to the sustainability of the industry as a complex, evolving ecosystem.

It has already been established that evolving technologies, services, applications and content, adaptive and innovative business models, utter disruptions, interdependent stakeholder relationships and the rapid pace of innovation and market change are the new realities of the industry as well as of the society. To best tap surfacing opportunities and to promptly tackle existential challenges that have been by-now widely recognized within the industry, a system change -- an overhaul of existing legal, regulatory, or even taxation systems, of the society, of interrelations, of stakeholders' collective responsibilities, and of social (and political) norms and values -- is required.

Dr. Khaled Biyari, STC Group CEO and Chairman of SAMENA Council's Board of Directors, presented his views and emphasized on the importance of developing regulatory environment for the telecommunication sector to cope with the revolution witnessed by the sector in the light of Digitization. Dr. Biyari also addressed the comprehensive transformation of the telecommunications industry, which changed the details of daily lives of individuals.

Mr. Bocar BA, CEO of SAMENA Council stated that "We as an industry need to approach our evolving future with fresh perspectives. We thank CITRA and its esteemed CEO and Chairman Eng. Salim Al Ozainah for the patronage provided to Convergence to Kuwait, which was part of SAMENA Council's ongoing endeavors to work closely with regional regulatory bodies, in order to conduct capacity-building as well as future regulation-supportive work in the region for the benefit of the industry and the regional digital economy. Holding Convergence to Kuwait was important to SAMENA Council's member operators, including VIVA and Zain, and was also pertinent to the ongoing efforts to better understanding regulatory transformation needs, data regulation and cyber-security imperatives, and to accelerate 5G developmental efforts, so we enter 2018 with a clearer mind to make progress in the required areas."

Held under the global theme of "Creating New Advantages for Industry Stakeholders", CONVERGENCE TO KUWAIT focused on Regulatory Transformation for Fulfilling the Digital Agenda; Data Regulation in View of Emerging Cross-Border Technologies & Pan-National Communications; Stakeholder Preparation for the 5G World - Harmonizing Efforts in Terrestrial, Satellite, and Regulatory Co-operation; and Public Policy Considerations for OTTs as the key areas that will define the industry's focus for 2018 and beyond.

SAMENA Council thanks and congratulates CITRA, VIVA Kuwait, ZAIN Group, HUAWEI, and CISCO for having "CONVERGENCE TO KUWAIT" made possible. SAMENA Council also thanks regional telecom regulatory authorities and the Council's Members for being a part of such stakeholder activities.


About SAMENA Telecommunications Council

SAMENA Telecommunications Council is South Asia - Middle East - North Africa (SAMENA) region’s premier industry association of telecom operators and service providers. SAMENA Council voices network operators’ issues and needs to regulators, policymakers, and international institutions. The largest regional telecom groups, including Saudi Telecom, Etisalat, Batelco, Ooredoo, Viva Kuwait, Orange Jordan, Turk Telekom, Zain, Omantel, among other leading operators and technology companies, are a part of the Council’s membership. SAMENA Council is a sector development partner to the private and the public sectors, and believes in bringing all stakeholders closer together to help create a sustainable business environment for the industry, and to accelerate digital development in regional economies.

As an international non-profit organization, SAMENA Council is contributing to the understanding of cross-stakeholder priorities within the public and the private sectors. The Council has created a unique regional position as the regulatory reach and operator advocacy organization, promoting institution-level engagements with leading private and public-sector organizations.

SAMENA Council was founded in 2006. In February 2016, Saudi Telecom Company, represented by Dr. Khaled Biyari, became the chairman of the Board of Directors of SAMENA Council.