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.
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