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Scott Gegenheimer keynote participation at GSMA’s Mobile 360–Middle East event focuses on future direction of Zain

Zain Group, a leading mobile communications innovator in eight markets across the Middle East and North Africa, announces the high-profile participation of CEO, Scott Gegenheimer, at the prestigious GSMA-organized Mobile 360 – Middle East event, which took place alongside GITEX 2014 in Dubai last week.

Participating as a keynote interview, Gegenheimer confirmed that Zain was looking to introduce 4G/LTE in Jordan by the first quarter of 2015, making it the fifth Zain market in which the high-speed technology has been launched by the operator. He stated that Zain’s enthusiasm to be a technology leader was driven by the company’s ambition to remain relevant and create value within the fast-evolving telecom eco-system.

Gegenheimer said, “One of the things we don’t want to become is a dumb pipe. Can we be a smart pipe and add services on top of the data services? You’ll see lots of adjacent markets we’ll move into.” He continued, “In the near future you are likely to see another large acquisition by Zain in the MENA region. We are considering opportunities in our industry as well as in adjacencies to our own operations, and this may take the form of an ISP, data center, or a smart city specialist, for example.”

Zain is also actively looking to diversify into the enterprise and M2M markets, and Gegenheimer said he saw the move into other vertical markets as an opportunity for the operator to generate strong incremental revenue growth.

As part of its focus on driving up non-voice revenues, Zain Group has been focusing on Customer Experience Management, with Gegenheimer confirming during his interview that the company had appointed a new Head of Customer Experience Management, to drive the implementation of a customer-centric culture across the Group’s operations.

Gegenheimer commented, “Customer Experience Management is a pillar of Zain Group’s strategy, and we have acquired tools including NPS (Net Promoter Score), which is a management system used to chart customer satisfaction.”

Having experienced a 21 per cent increase in mobile data revenue over the past year, Gegenheimer said one of the secrets to the company’s success has been its ability to upgrade its networks and bring new technologies to markets first.

Gegenheimer also noted that care needs to be taken with mobile data pricing, particularly where data throughput is increasing at a faster rate than the revenue generated. “We need to make sure we’re growing the data profitably,” he said.

Overall, Gegenheimer said beyond its traditional areas of voice and data services, Zain’s strategic areas of interest include Smart Cities and the Internet of Things, with the company pledging to continue driving technology leadership, with for example, the ongoing trials of super-fast LTE-Advanced technology in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain.

Recently leading industry magazine Global Telecoms Business (GTB) ranked Scott Gegenheimer in 55th position in its Top 100 most influential telecom executives for 2014, up 16 places on his 2013 ranking. The impressive ranking published by the London based magazine is yet another indicator of Zain’s pioneering influence in the Middle East telecom sector and further evidence of the company’s re-energized momentum. Gegenheimer was listed among some genuinely influential names in the global ICT sector, ranked the second highest executive from the Middle East.