Press Release

Press Release

SAMENA Telecommunications Council welcomes Imme Philbeck as Chief Economist and Roberto Ercole as Director of Public Policy to strengthen telecom operator advocacy and institutional cooperation-building

Dubai, UAE, February 20, 2017: SAMENA Telecommunications Council has announced the joining of two new members of the management team: Imme Philbeck as Chief Economist, and Roberto Ercole as Director of Public Policy.

Aligning internal as well as external efforts to address industry issues, which include digital services, data regulation, spectrum management, and industry fees and charges, the new members of SAMENA Council's team of experts, with their past experience working with leading global institutions, will help drive SAMENA Council's advocacy work to the next level.

Imme Philbeck will be responsible for advocacy and economic impact analysis of industry policy and regulation, liaising closely with SAMENA Council stakeholders, SAMENA Council’s external working groups, and international organizations. Roberto Ercole will lead coordination among SAMENA Council's working groups to address specific challenges and by supporting the creation of intellectual output by each working group, including collaborative work with likeminded industry associations.

In welcoming the new members to the SAMENA Council team, Bocar BA, CEO, said that "Imme and Roberto's experience will help strengthen an already strong team, and will allow SAMENA Council to better advocate on behalf of our telecom operator members, support the needs of the industry, and exercise our role as a sector development partner to the public and private sectors. It is important that we have a strong economic and policy impact-analysis capability to enhance our ongoing industry advocacy efforts in the region."

An economist, specialising in ICT, competition and telecommunications regulation, Imme Philbeck holds Bachelor's and Master’s degrees in Economics / International Economics and a post-graduate Certificate in Competition Policy. Imme has more than 15 years of experience, working for and with regulators and government, industry, international organizations and institutions and consulting companies. Imme’s previous roles include Independent Consultant to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Senior Consultant in the NGN and Internet Economics Department for WIK-Consult GmbH, Principal Economics Advisor to Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco), in-house Competition Economist at Ashurst, and Case Officer / Economist on International Mergers at the UK Office of Fair Trading.

Roberto Ercole is a Chartered Electronic Engineer, specialising in mobile radio systems and radio communication regulation. He also has a post-graduate certificate in EU and UK Competition Policy and Law. Prior to joining SAMENA Council, Roberto worked with GSMA for 10 years as a Senior Director in Public Policy, focusing on spectrum regulation issues. Prior to his tenure with GSMA, Roberto worked for the UK telecommunications regulator (Oftel) looking at mobile competition issues. Roberto has also worked as a consultant advising on telecommunication competition issues and mobile operator valuations.

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, with 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.