DUBAI -- Non-profit industry group i3forum, which focuses on transforming the carrier business, announced at Capacity Middle East 2019 today Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) joined the organization as a full member. STC, which joins 22 global organizations from across the carrier ecosystem, is the first Middle Eastern carrier to become part of the i3forum.
i3forum brings the International Carrier ecosystem together to enable and accelerate transformation. Its members decide the challenges and topics to address and it provides a platform for members to explore, share and debate the challenges facing Carrier business. Members are empowered by a shared purpose and mission to shape the future of the industry.
"We are excited to welcome STC to the i3forum as a full member. STC brings a unique perspective on our industry and we look forward to collaborating with the team at STC," said Philippe Millet, i3forum chairman. "Each new member adds something different to the i3forum and creates new benefits for existing members. With a diverse and dynamic membership, we are well positioned to tackle the challenges that are facing our industry today and in the future."
STC serves within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and across the Middle East, Europe and Asia (MENA), supporting more than 100 million subscribers globally. In part, it accomplishes this via its fiber-optic cable network that spans 137,000 kilometers across Asia, the Middle East and Europe. It operates the MENA Gateway data center and JEDIX Internet exchange point in Jeddah, KSA. The government is establishing the KSA as a key hub for telecoms connectivity in the MENA region as part of its Saudi Vision 2030.
"We are honoured to join the i3forum and become the first Middle Eastern carrier to participate. It is critical that we collaborate with our peers and help to drive our industry forward. Together, we can solve challenges and find new ways to innovate locally and across the globe," said Sami Bin Ghadir, Revenue Assurance & Fraud Management general manager at STC. "The i3forum has demonstrated its ability to put ideas into action and create real change for carriers. As its membership continues to grow, it is a great time to be part of the i3forum."
As a not-for-profit, membership-funded association, the i3forum works closely with standardization bodies including GSMA and the Wireless Broadband Alliance. In 2018 the Global Leaders Forum (GLF) together with i3forum delivered the Code of Conduct, one of many initiatives designed to accelerate transformation across the entire ecosystem. In addition, i3forum members collaborate on practical recommendations and best practices to drive innovation and transformation across the service-provider ecosystem. Its workgroups tackle challenges operators face, then deliver actionable recommendations to enable long-term growth of carrier businesses, according to i3forum. This includes how to adopt and deliver new technologies, solutions and business models with the intent of positively impacting telecommunications providers for the long-term, the association said.
STC established a wholesale business unit in 2005 and became a founding member and key investor in every major submarine cable system within the region. As such, STC's Wholesale BU as cost-effective access to major international capacities and routes, making it one of the area's wholesale leaders for price, flexibility and access.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.