Press Release

Press Release

BT Joins Leading Regional Operators as a SAMENA Council Member to Focus on Regional Digital Development

SAMENA Council has announced that BT (British Telecom), one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, has joined with full membership with the purpose of contributing to the stakeholder dialogue on understanding complexities and challenges of the transforming digital ecosystem in view of Operators’ evolving role and central position in the 4th industrial revolution.

Expressing his warm welcome to BT for having joined SAMENA Council’s community of largest telecom operators in the region, Mr. Bocar BA, CEO & Board Member stated, "BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. BT also provides network services to other licensed operators, and its research labs have been playing a leading role in the development of global communications standards and services. With such a diversified operations as well as service and solutions profile, BT can help define a new generation of digital services within the SAMENA region and can benefit from SAMENA Council’s operator members’ collective strength on both policy advocacy and on pioneering innovation as the data-driven digital communications landscape undergoes transformation."

Mr. Eyad Shihabi, Vice President, Middle East, Africa, and Turkey at BT speaking on the new partnership stated, “We are extremely proud and excited about our presence in SAMENA Council, and we look forward to working closely with the body and our peers in guiding our region towards a technology-enabled, digitally-transformed future. Technology and connectivity provide a platform for achieving measurable and impactful socio-economic development, and our focus will be on bringing our global expertise to bear within a regional context.”

BT’s participation as an important part of SAMENA Council’s membership can help create new synergies among Telecom Operators on multiple challenge areas, including 5G development and deployment scenarios, cross-border data flows, development of digital economy, while creating means and tools for introducing a myriad of AI-driven solutions in the age of IoT. The digital ecosystem’s sustainability challenges and the need for making better use of digital technologies demand that Telecom Operators operating within the SAMENA region collectively communicate on common issues and needs, while providing SAMENA Council the opportunity to provide advocacy support and build communication bridges with regional Regulators on behalf of Operators.

SAMENA Council believes policies and co-operative approaches can help develop new methods and models of engagement, help frame future-friendly regulations and policies, and cross-stakeholder involvement should be fostered to incentivize and influence more investment in digital development.

New members, including both Telecom Operators and Technology Providers, join SAMENA Council for multiple reasons, including for its platforms that allow stakeholders and innovative players to generate new business opportunities as well as interact with regional public and private-sector leadership, while working toward addressing digital development matters that will define the future of the industry.

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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.

About British Telecom

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. BT consists of four customer-facing units: Consumer, Enterprise, Global Services and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2018, BT Group’s reported revenue was £23,723m with reported profit before taxation of £2,616m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com