Rural broadband summit at Broadband MEA tackles digital divide
Broadband MEA, the premier event driving sustainable growth of broadband in the Middle East and Africa, is attracting top industry representatives in the region to its first ever Rural Broadband Summit to be held on 25 March 2012. As MEA governments and industry players alike work towards bridging the digital divide to improve rural broadband, the summit will explore the opportunities and innovations required to achieve connectivity in these territories.
With a focus on Internet accessibility the Rural Broadband Summit 2012 will provide a vital opportunity to hear from exciting emerging players in the industry. It also provides the perfect platform for targeted discussion and thought-provoking analysis of key issues, such as the challenges of making the economics of broadband delivery work for business and achieving ROI.
Richard Jones, Partner at Ventura Team LLP, is set to chair the summit. He says: “The Rural Broadband Summit is incredibly important as an event as it deals with the unserved and under-served parts of the market – the parts that need attention to avoid the creation of digital divides and to support the rural economies.”
Unique presentations from leading analysts at the summit will address the topic of navigating the regulation in different markets as well as other key areas in the broadband space. A critical question to be debated on the day is the technology choices for rural broadband as well as rural network sharing, achieving return on investment from rural broadband network coverage and key trends around broadband connectivity in Africa.
Acting Chairman, CEO and Head of Telecommunications Technologies Unit of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Lebanon, Imad Y. Hoballah, PhD, will speak on working towards an efficient ICT sector policy (e-governance, e-commerce, e-health, e-education) to serve remote areas. Hoballah’s presentation will touch on matters such as the government’s role in achieving broadband connectivity for remote areas, licensing obligations, development of local content and applications and technology innovations utilised in fast rural broadband deployment.
Hoballah says: “The TRA of Lebanon is pleased to participate in the Rural Broadband Summit – 2012. As a speaker at this world-class event, I will highlight the importance of the synergy among all stakeholders to serve rural areas through an efficient ICT sector policy. Immense value will be delivered to the rural regions when technology innovations – like cloud services – are coupled with local content and applications and supported by appropriate regulations and policies. I am looking forward to meeting industry leaders and stakeholders to discuss and exchange ideas and thoughts about how ICT drives social and economical growth in the MEA region.”
Hoballah is also President of the Arab Regulators’ Network (AREGNET), Vice Chairman of the Arab Spectrum Management Group (ASMG) and Vice President of the Arab Infrastructure Regulators Forum (AIRF).
Leading network access specialist, The Kenton Group, is officially sponsoring the Rural Broadband Summit, with its Managing Director John Larkin commenting: “Broadband MEA is a fantastic event as it brings key players together to address the critical issues surrounding rural broadband in the MEA region. It raises the question of what technology choices are available for rural broadband and tackles how to achieve them.”
John Larkin will also be giving a presentation at the summit on unleashing the potential of copper networks for rural broadband which will include an overview of defining the problem, the market potential, the challenges faced and the solutions that can cost effectively meet demand.
Also speaking on the day is Jaume Salvat, CEO of Andorra Telecom. Salvat, who says: “I’m looking forward to sharing our experiences at Broadband MEA and discussing our ideas about the deployment of broadband infrastructures in rural areas. I’ll also be exploring how to ensure true broadband services to the inhabitants and businesses in those areas, allowing the same opportunities and the right economic development.”
Jayhun Mollazade, CEO at AzQtel LLC, says: “As a wireless network operator in Azerbaijan we’ve achieved considerable success in the provision of broadband Internet access services. Broadband MEA 2012 will be a great opportunity for different companies to showcase the progress that they have made in the broadband industry.”
A host of high level government and industry executives will speak at the summit including Nima PourNejatian, Chief Technology Officer at MobinNet Telecom Co. (MTC); Ntokozo Khumalo, African Business Producer at ETV and Labib Matta, Senior Partner at Next Gen Advisory Group.