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mobile_360_middle_east_logoAs Gitex Technology Week fast approaches, and in addition to hosting our own MEF Connects Dubai on the 14th of October, MEF is supporting the GSMA’s second annual Mobile 360 Series – Middle East event to be held in Dubai. Here, Chief Marketing Officer, Michael O’Hara discusses the ever-increasing impact and importance of mobile technology in these exciting growth markets.

In less than two weeks’ time the Dubai World Trade Center will play host to the GSMA’s Mobile 360 Series – Middle East conference for the second year running. Held on October 13th and 14th, the event is designed to appeal to the specific interests of mobile operators and other players in the ecosystem with an interest in the Middle East and North Africa. A stellar speaker line up of senior industry leaders is poised to tackle the keys issues, market challenges and growth opportunities the industry faces in the region, which is one of the fastest growing markets in the world.

At the GSMA, we work closely with operators and other organisations in the ecosystem to unlock the potential of mobile technology around the world. Whether that is helping to drive LTE deployments in advanced markets or with mobile payments services in less developed nations, we believe that mobile has the power to change people’s lives positively and contribute to the development of economies and societies.

“Many Gulf States are amongst the global leaders in terms of migration to higher network speeds and advanced mobile services as well as in smartphone adoption.”

Mobile technology is having a transformative effect across the region with advances in the deployment of LTE networks, growing smartphone penetration and the increased adoption of machine-to-machine (M2M) technology that is driving services such as mHealth and Smart City infrastructure. These services are also having an impact on the region’s economic growth.

There are approximately 650 million connections in total across the region – a number that is growing fast – and 300 million unique subscribers with a 50% penetration rate according to GSMA Intelligence.

Fifteen operators in a number of markets, particularly in the Gulf States, are rolling out 4G-LTE networks and providing mobile broadband services to consumers. Indeed, many Gulf States are amongst the global leaders in terms of migration to higher network speeds and advanced mobile services as well as in smartphone adoption.

Michael O'HaraMichael O’Hara

Chief Marketing Officer


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M2M is also seeing a huge rise in prominence with half a million connections and a 30% growth rate year on year. However, there is of course a clear disparity between the oil-rich economies of the Gulf States and the less developed North African market in terms of mobile adoption. To this end, the GSMA has been involved in initiatives to connect the unconnected and encourage operators to cooperate on network infrastructure sharing to provide internet and mobile broadband services to rural communities.

Featuring C-Level speakers from Du, Etisalat, MasterCard, Microsoft, Ooredoo Group, STC, and Vodafone Egypt, among others, Mobile 360 Series – Middle East offers attendees an opportunity to hear unique perspectives and insights across a host of topics including “Smart Cities”, “Strategies for New Revenue Growth” and “Mobile Commerce” as well as share their own experiences. We look forward to welcoming you there!

connects-Dubai2-bannerMEF members can get a 15% discount on the Mobile 360 Middle East event; contact us for more information. You can also meet MEF members active in the Middle East in person at MEF Connects Dubai – hope to see you there!