In his opening remarks at the opening of South Asia, Middle East and North Africa (SAMENA) Telecom Council summit held in Jordan during the period 3-4 November under the slogan Convergence to Jordan 2008, Dr. Al-Wohaibi said, "The flow of direct investments have been pouring into liberalizing markets, from markets who either liberalized much earlier on or where market potentials have already been tapped."
He pointed out that much, much of the market or, in fact, technology evolution that is before us now, is a result of the decisions taken by us collectively earlier on.
Dr. Al-Wohaibi said in his speech, "By us, I mean the regulators, the operators and the service providers, the manufacturers, and the technology providers, the investors, with varying penchant for some technologies or business models over others, and the academia, for its inherent push onto the industry, at least as far as technology initiatives are concerned."
"This is particularly true of the mergers and acquisition activities we have seen and are surely to see more of. We have keyed in on imminent challenges and rewarding opportunities, and a host of other value additions we have been able to make part of our value chain and extend to our customers."
He indicated that market liberalization is occurring at a rapid pace and will continue to sustain at a fairly rapid pace in the foreseeable future. We have also seen competition take the front seat. Resultantly, the entrenched presence of market competition and the consequential market expansion have dramatically created new opportunity for revenue oriented services and products.
The Chief Executive Officer of Omantel said:
"Because the necessity to adapt to continually changing rules has heightened over the recent past and has prompted all of us to search for better and cost-effective synergistic approaches. We have seen ourselves getting bogged down by details that may be best addressed by a group- an entity that can create for itself a level interface, which can assess global markets integration and value add, and which can address the strategic criteria for moving swiftly through times, requiring resilience, collaboration and closely-knit workings."
"Our customers are more demanding today than we have ever known before. And the environment has been created such that companies see a distinct value and need to work progressively together. Our business environment is no longer impacting revenues only: it is impacting our resources and how those resources are used. It is influencing the very behavior of not only our customers but also the people we as organizations depend on- our human resources," he added.
"How we live, work, grow, and contribute to our social fabric today has undoubtedly become a function of how well we are connected at infrastructure level and how well linked we are cerebrally, with those sharing our cause, our vision, our passion, our needs, our fears and our mission," he said.
In closing, Dr. Al-Wohaibi expressed thanks to all participants in the summit, the SAMENA Board members for their support over the past few years, stressing that "Our one sole purpose at heart: to bring greater sharing of knowledge to all of you and to better equip each one of us through the sharing of our experiences and insights, and through what we believe we ought to communicate to each other for the collective welfare of all."
The non-for profit SAMENA Telecom Council, which represents several telecom companies in the region, discussed during the meeting issues of interest to the sector, most important of which are the impact of foreign direct investments on the region in light of the changes taking place in financial markets all over the world as well as other issues such as mergers and acquisitions among companies.
It is worth noting that SAMENA Telecom Council has organized several events as part of its endeavors to enhance convergence and exchange knowledge and cooperated between telecom related entities.