Press Release

Press Release


July 4, 2007

Contact: Riaz Asher Siddiqui,
Vice President, Network Operators Relations
Tel: 92-51-2876272, 92-51-2871471
E-mail: asiddiqui(a)


ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN - July 3, 2007 - SAMENA Telecommunications Council organized Pakistan's first telecom network security seminar today, to encourage telecom operators and data services providers to focus on the emerging need for securing their increasingly IP-based network investments.

Entitled Security First 2007 and fully supported by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, the Patron-in-Chief, this seminar brought forth views of senior telecom professionals, including Dr. Mohammad Yaseen, Member Technical, PTA; Gen. Hamid Hassan Butt, GM (Government Relations), Ufone; Dr. Manshad Satti, MD, IT Butler, Australia; Mr. Thomas Wilson, CEO & MED, SAMENA; Mr. Iqbal Bari, Manager Professional Services, Etisalat, UAE; and Mr. Asher Siddiqui, Teralight's President Operations Pakistan & Vice President, South Asia Region.

Gen. Hamid highly appreciated the event and expressed that "the key points that have been highlighted today are areas of major and utmost importance, and these are: security, telecom fraud, and the need to evolve network security modeling." Gen. Hamid also reiterated that "the world has become so dependent on data communications that countries like China are directly attributing their economic prowess to advanced and secured data communications. We too need to be walking on that path."

Dr. Satti, who answered in detail some key questions in the area of network security, insisted that "privacy of an individual is highly important, and ensuring it is a challenging task. We really need to be asking if we have the right legal framework as well as resources to ensure that. The regulatory environments need to be restructured, and in Pakistan, the PTA is determined to achieve that."

Major points were raised by PTA's acting chairman and Member Technical, Dr. Yaseen, who believes that "it has become crucial that an industry-wide understanding of the importance of telecom network security be achieved." The Member Technical emphasized that "Pakistan's SS7-based traditional telecommunications networks are secure; it's the next-generation networks, increasingly being deployed by our cellular operators, that need to be made secure against prevalent and emerging threats, which include telecom fraud."

This network security seminar, one of several seminars and educational events that SAMENA Telecommunications Council-a tri-regional collaborative forum of more than seventy regional and international telecom organizations-has organized since its inception in 2006.

"SAMENA provides exceptional value and support to all concerned with telecommunications, and this includes telecom operators like PTCL, Oman Mobile, as well as regulators like PTA and TRA-UAE."

"We are also determined to providing educational opportunities such as advanced access to technologies and test-bed facilities in the Middle East or North America for those interested in bringing their academic and industry talents forward. And we encourage the academia to introduce talented students to our resources in Pakistan", remarked Mr. Thomas Wilson.

Network Security is an important topic to address and be familiarized with. Evolving customer needs and technology advancements are creating challenges for operators and service providers. Ranging from "confidential information loss" to a full-fledged drainage of revenues, many network security threats exist, with each requiring a carefully planned set of remedial policies and strategies.

This SAMENA network security seminar was designed to help address the importance that network security should hold in today's telecom network design.

SAMENA Telecommunications Council is a tri-regional, non-profit telecommunications association that embodies a community of South Asian, Middle Eastern, and North African telecoms operators, manufacturers, regulatory authorities, and academia. SAMENA aims to be the ultimate promoter of collaboration and knowledge-sharing in the SAMENA region that spans 25 countries, including Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

The Council is driven by telecoms issues that operators in South Asia, the Middle East, and in North Africa face, and is determined in providing its advocacy expertise to help aid incubation of novel approaches and ideas that would provide better means for the expansion and utilization of telecommunications in the region.

Headquartered in Dubai, SAMENA is chaired by Dr Mohammed Ali Al Wohaibi, Executive President, Omantel and is directed by Mr. Thomas W. Wilson, CEO, Teralight.