Press Release

Press Release

Senior officials from Türk Telekom and Batelco Group to head SAMENA’s Policy Board

Senior officials from Türk Telekom and Batelco Group to head SAMENA’s Policy Board

Dr. Mustafa Aykut and Bernadette Baynie as Chairman and Vice-Chairperson respectively will lead the Policy Board’s efforts in identifying issues of the regional ICT industry and influencing appropriate policies and regulations

Dubai - UAE, January 17, 2012: SAMENA Telecommunications Council, the tri-regional telecommunications consortium has announced the appointment of Dr. Mustafa Aykut, Group Representative of Türk Telekom International Institutions for Policy, Standards and Regulations, and Bernadette Baynie, Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer of Batelco Group, as the new Chairman and Vice-Chairperson of its Policy Board. The SAMENA Policy Board which includes representatives from Batelco, Türk Telekom, Etisalat, Omantel, PTCL, Orange Jordan, Qtel, Viva Kuwait, Bravo and Saudi Telecom, guides, advises and adopts strategic positions on issues arising within the ICT industry, both regionally and globally, for the benefit of the Council and its members.

SAMENA’s Policy Board is an executive non-working group comprising of selected senior officials of the SAMENA Council Board of Director companies and a limited number of other key SAMENA operator members, to be designated directly by their respective Directors or Chief Executives on a one-to-one company basis, as well as a small number of advisors to the Council and a SAMENA Council staff liaison. The Policy Board will work actively with the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors in the prioritization of the impact issues of the industry.

Newly appointed Chairman to the SAMENA Policy Board, Dr. Mustafa Aykut said, “SAMENA has achieved a great capacity by extending its reach to the significant ICT players in a region covering South Asia, Middle East and North Africa in a relatively short period. It is now time to transform this capacity to an active capability by being effectively involved in crucial issues of the sector worldwide. The Policy Board Committee of SAMENA will use its ability to help the members highlight the common interests as a single voice and generate optimum approaches having interactions with the stakeholders at national and international platforms.”

On her appointment as the Vice Chairperson, Bernadette Baynie said, “SAMENA appreciates and values the important role that it performs on behalf of its members. It strives to be a leading and quintessential voice for them on significant telecommunication issues that impact their market presence and operations. The vision of the Policy Board is to ensure that comprehensive policies are introduced in a timely manner which optimize telecom operators and service providers expansion of next generation access across the SAMENA region [and beyond] and enable them to establish new cutting edge business models that compliment technological advancements in the industry.”

Thomas Wilson, Chief Executive & Executive Managing Director of SAMENA Telecommunications Council said, "The Policy Board is highly indicative of the importance of Policy for SAMENA's membership and the industry itself, to address the consensus needs of the industry. We at SAMENA are looking forward to the leadership on the Policy activities of the SAMENA Council."

The SAMENA Policy Board has the authority to co-ordinate and supervises the activities of the Council's working level committees and working groups. It is intended that by virtue of their reporting relationships to the SAMENA Council Board of Directors and positions within operator members, the nominated representatives of the Policy Board Members will have the ability to identify, develop and propound important telecommunications policy and address important regulatory issues of common interest to the SAMENA Council membership and the authority to express on behalf of their member companies whether the Council should take a public position on important issues such as International Telecommunication Regulations, Net Neutrality, Building a Suistainable Internet Business Model, as well as supporting industry best practice ICT Telecom Policy, specifically towards the development of available Broadband Infrastructure.


About SAMENA Telecommunications Council:
SAMENA Telecommunications Council is a tri-regional, non-profit telecommunications association that represents over 40 telecommunications operators in 25 markets, representing an aggregate subscriber base of 700 million mobile users, 79 million fixed-line users, and 22 million broadband users. SAMENA Council’s membership embodies a community of telecom operators, manufacturers, government bodies, academia, and leading global management consultancy organizations. The SAMENA Board of Directors and member companies include the largest regional operators and global multi-network operators as well as new competitive entrants. SAMENA focuses on digitization and broadband investment policies, and aims to promote beneficial regulation and governance that further industry evolution, as well as cooperation among key ICT industry stakeholders. For further information, please visit or contact SAMENA Communications at +971 4 364 2700 or via email (

For more information please contact
Farah Ibrahim
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