Middle East prepare for 4G
World leaders meet at the NGT Asia Summit to discuss the move to 4G
November 4, 2009 12:00 by Aarti Nagraj
The average handset has evolved from the humble voice-box, to the total media centre. As a result thousands of start-up companies are profiting out of the Telecom sector’s advances, supplying the various add-ons which inevitably accompany any new wave of technology. Such innovations were used by the operators to supplement the pricey voice packages. However, the operators are now finding themselves in the hands of the ever-creative software/hardware companies and the changing consumer culture. iPhone appstore was the first to take advantage and make millions from the operators’ customers, creating a financial redistribution within the Telecom industry. With the telecom giants left to maintain the costly infrastructure that supports this ever growing new-media industry, the outlook for today’s communication service providers is set to get worse in a new 4G world where broadband is everywhere (LTE, WiMax, FTTX and cloud services). How can the giants sustain such costs and avoid being relegated to the sidelines as bit-pipe providers?
To answer this question visionaries such as Zhang Fan - CTO - China Unicom, Anil Tandan - CTO - Idea Cellular , Ravinder Jain - CIO – Aircel, Michael Kuehner - CEO - AXIATA Bangladesh, ETISALAT, Du, Zain and Mu Piao Shih - President - Chunghwa Telecom are all set to attend what is a closed meeting at the NGT APAC summit in Sentosa, to discuss a unified investment strategy to provide Long Term Evolution (LTE) across the existing 3G network. Such increased download speeds will allow the telecom industry to capitalize on the change in consumer habits and provide wider service offerings.
“Middle East’s innovative technologies have inspired the western world and with economic pressures alleviating, we are now looking to invest in 4G to capitalize on the ‘Prosumer’ market.” Said a spokesman for the fifty strong consortium at the NGT APAC Summit
This most elite of delegations led by Kyle Whitehill – COO, Vodafone India, are set to discuss the rapid pace of communication, transforming from the one-to-one (direct) voice communication to the fast, informal & responsive, opinion and thought exchange we have today.
‘Such a meeting has been a long time coming, large operators have been losing revenue as the communication market has diversified, network optimization should lend to them finding new revenue streams as the level of service can expand’ – Nick York – NGT Summit Director Asia Pacific.
Such consumer & technology transformation has distorted the way 'Prosumer' consume their products & services, and interact with their mobile devices. The industry awaits to see if the Middle East’s Top Telecom guns can decide on a unified approach to map revenue streams back to the operators.