Press Release

Press Release

SAMENA Council’s Leaders’ Summit 2019 to Promote Proliferation of 5G and Help Visualize the Impact of 5G in Boosting ICT Businesses and Innovation

UAE, 26 March 2019 - SAMENA Telecommunications Council has commenced preparatory efforts to hold its annual Leaders’ Summit, to be held on April 18th, 2019, with the patronage of Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the United Arab Emirates.

Hosted for the sixth consecutive year by Huawei Technologies Middle East, Co-Sponsored by Sudatel Group and Ericsson Middle East, and other leading names in the industry, the one-day leaders-only congregation, the Leaders’ Summit 2019, will continue its tradition of bringing change-makers from the private and public domains together, with the purpose of addressing the Industry’s most pressing issues and paving the path for materializing potential collaborative undertakings among the private and government sector stakeholders. Leaders’ Summit 2019 will follow a new organization format, designed to maximize by-invitation-only attendance and to achieve efficacy in the multi-stakeholder discussions, including a closed-door bi-lateral meeting among regulatory authorities, operators, and technology providers.

“We would like to see the proliferation of 5G realized in the region sooner than later and thus our focus during Leaders’ Summit 2019 is on understanding the impact of 5G in boosting ICTs and enabling flexibility and enhancing capabilities of new digital services. The areas which require specialized attention are Operators’ need for improved spectrum allocation policies, and general regulator-level support for understanding future requirements and multiple dimensions in building the region’s digital economy. One of the most anticipated ICT thought leadership and change-makers’ events in the region, the Leaders’ Summit 2019 will further empower SAMENA Telecommunications Council to be at the forefront of the campaign for building digital economies, unifying the telecom industry voice, helping optimize the collaboration between operators and regulators and ICT industry service providers towards making a positive impact in the region’s socio-economic development. It is SAMENA Council’s privilege that the Leaders’ Summit 2019 will be held with the patronage of the TRA-UAE and organized in collaboration with the leading private-sector names of the region’s digital communications industry", stated Bocar BA, CEO & Board Member of SAMENA Council.

Commenting on the organization of the Summit, H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General of the UAE’s TRA said: “We in the UAE rely on 5G to enter the age of the artificial intelligence and to apply the Smart Cities applications such as IoT. 5G will provide a flexible and adaptive intelligent platform to the mobile operators to connect everything and offer unique digital services. 5G will be the innovation engine to empower the 4th industrial revolution. The TRA is creating a coherent environment to nourish and sustain this growth for the people of the UAE”.

Leaders’ Summit 2019 will congregate leaders from more than 29 countries, with the aim of materializing private and government partnerships; for fostering collaboration within the ICT industry of the region; and for discussing issues that have emerged since 5G deployment became a priority in the region, in alignment with national ICT visions.

To accelerate the large-scale deployment of 5G, Huawei will host the "5G is ON Forum" as part of the Summit. The event will be an occasion for 5G industry partners to discuss how emerging 5G-enabled intelligent services and innovations can help operators identify new business opportunities and thereby achieve growth. As an undisputed technology leader and partner of choice for operators launching 5G globally, Huawei will also use the event as a platform to demonstrate how its E2E 5G solutions can help the Middle East organizations fully capitalize on the commercialization of 5G.

Charles Yang, President of Huawei Middle East, added: “This year’s SAMENA Leaders’ Summit especially meaningful to us: 2019 marks Huawei’s 6th consecutive year of co-hosting the event, and while in the past we have focused on the imminent arrival of 5G, this year we can say with confidence that the time for large-scale 5G deployment has finally come. Businesses, standards, products, and terminals are fully ready, and a comprehensive 5G ecosystem is emerging. The arrival of 5G will accelerate digital transformation and bring about the all-connected, all-intelligent world, playing a pivotal role in helping regional leaders meet their economic growth targets and national agendas. We are excited to meet with our partners and stakeholders in Dubai to discuss how together we can lead this transformative epoch of digital transformation.”

“SAMENA Council is continuing to play a significant role in the ICT sector across its footprint. It helps the ecosystem to better understanding the industry. We do believe that the work undertaken by SAMENA Council is of great value for all the stakeholders. It is a precious platform for networking and sharing ideas, know-how and experience. The Council has evolved, across the years, to become an incubator that proliferates smart and strategic thinking. This annual event of Leaders’ Summit is a reflection of how SAMENA Council is convincing and is exercising its influence. Sudatel Group will maintain its support for SAMENA Council as a recognition of its valuable achievements," stated Tarig Hamza Zainelabdin, CEO & President Sudatel Group, which is among the valued sponsors of the Summit.

“The Middle East and Africa region has a unique opportunity globally when it comes to bringing 5G to life. It is undeniable that 5G networks are critical national infrastructure with large impact on society and the competitiveness of countries. As a technology leader and the largest contributor to the standardization body in 3GPP during 2018 , Ericsson has made strong R&D investment to provide competitive solutions and technology that create value for our customers. According to our recent Mobility Report published in February, 5G is forecast to reach 30 million subscriptions by 2024 In the Middle East and Africa. This draws an exciting outlook for all industry players in the region in terms of new opportunities, new efficiencies, and new business models. We are on the threshold of a global technology shift  that is beyond our industry. It is a shift for our entire society and we have built up vast experience and industry-leading capabilities to support new and existing customers in transforming their networks. With our strong and flexible 5G portfolio in place, Ericsson has proved to be a trusted partner for industry players who want to stay ahead of the game”, stated Chafic Traboulsi, Head of Networks at Ericsson Middle East & Africa.  

The SAMENA Council’s Leaders’ Summit is an annual leadership event, encompassing private and government sector leaders’ gathering, various bi-lateral "closed-door" meetings, and panel discussions, held among stakeholders in a world-class setting. Leaders’ Summit 2019 will build on past discussions, centered around enabling a true, regional digital economy. Areas to come under discussion include Enabling Transition to “Inclusive 5G”, Barriers to Achieving Economies of Scale in 5G Device Capabilities, Identification of Technology, Regulatory, and Business Challenges in Fifth-Generation Digital Communications, and “Industry 4.0” Use Cases in a 5G-enabled Digital Economy.


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 most renowned regional telecom operators, including Saudi Telecom, Etisalat, Batelco Group, du, Viva Kuwait, Orange - MEA, Zain Group, Telecom Egypt, Sudatel, Omantel, and Alfa (managed by Orascom TMT), 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 empowers stakeholders to communicate together and addressing the most pressing industry issues, in order 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 2018 in Barcelona, Saudi Telecom Company, represented by Eng. Nasser Al Nasser as its GCEO, was re-elected to chair the Board of Directors of SAMENA Council.