Ayman Elnashar, Senior Director for Wireless Broadband, Terminals & Performance at du
The integrated service provider du has been selected as the Official Smart City Wi-Fi Provider in Dubai and has since been successfully expanding its Wi-Fi network to major landmarks in UAE, such as Dubai Tram  and Global Village , etc…
Ahead of the LTE MENA conference in Dubai, we spoke with Ayman Elnashar, Senior Director for Wireless Broadband, Terminals & Performance at du. Ayman will be discussing du Wireless Broadband plans in more detail at the show, but I wanted to find out how du subscribers are already getting a better service thanks to this innovation.
The LTE MENA conference finished earlier this week, and as we were following Twitter, we noticed back in the LTE World Series office HQ, we noticed a several mentions of the Ericsson ‘Dot’.
So just in case you were wondering what the Dot was, here’s a quick reminder.
Nima PourNejatian, CTO, MobinNet
Nima PourNejatian, CTO, MobinNet will be talking about the challenges of migrating from WiMAX to TD-LTE at the 4th annual LTE MENA conference, taking place on the 11th-13th May 2014 at the Conrad, Dubai, UAE.
What is the status of your transition from WiMAX to LTE and what challenges is it throwing up?
MobinNet has made some tangible progress since we decided to migrate to TD-LTE technology according to the roadmap of the WiMAX Advanced published by the WiMAX Forum. MobinNet could secure some bandwidth on a new frequency band—2.6 GHz. Meanwhile, the infrastructure needed to completely cover one of our existing markets will be supplied. We estimate that by the end of the year, MobinNet’s first TD-LTE-based market will be launched.
Andreas Frandevi, Director Group Strategy & Planning for Etisalat
We find out how LTE is central to Etisalat’s global strategy as we speak to Andreas Frandevi, Director Group Strategy & Planning for Etisalat, who is speaking in the Emerging Markets track on Day One of the 4th annual LTE MENA conference, taking place on the 11th-13th May 2014 at the Conrad, Dubai, UAE.
How important is investment in LTE play in Etisalat’s global strategy?
LTE plays a role as a core enabler, service, revenue and operating wise, for Etisalat’s growth aspirations in applicable markets. Harnessing the current on-going explosion in mobile broadband is one of our top priorities across our footprint markets. We strive to provide a leading customer experience through an innovative portfolio of product and service offerings delivered at a high degree of quality of service. LTE is one of the enabling pieces to achieving these objectives. LTE, as indeed any other broadband technology, is part of our global technology strategy, and its relevance is dependent on the dynamics of the respective markets.
Yasser Abouelenein, CTO of Uganda Telecom (Lap Green Group)
Lack of spectrum availability is still one of the issues concerning operators as Yasser Abouelenein, CTO of Uganda Telecom (Lap Green Group) tells us ahead of his keynote address at the opening day of the 4th annual LTE MENA conference is taking place on the 11th-13th May 2014 at the Conrad, Dubai, UAE.
What are the major challenges to upgrading your network to LTE?
The major challenges for upgrading the current network to LTE could be summarised as per the following:
a) The availability of the spectrum.
b) The availability of the high bandwidth that will be really required by LTE users.
c) The penetration of handsets that support LTE.
Khalid Siddique, Senior Manager Data Experience, du
Khalid Siddique, Senior Manager Data Experience, du is taking part in a panel discussion entitled, “Competing through service differentiation”, on the Day One of the 4th annual LTE MENA conference, taking place on the 11th-13th May 2014 at the Conrad, Dubai, UAE. Ahead of the show he tells us a little about what Du is doing to attract and retain customers.
What carriers around the world have impressed you when it comes to innovative data packages and service propositions?
I believe Verizon Wireless has been at the forefront of LTE offerings. It has dominated America well with its LTE coverage and has impressive data and handset offers such as shareable data and cloud storage.
Hisham Siblini, Chief Technology Officer, Wataniya Telecom
Hisham Siblini, Chief Technology Officer, Wataniya Telecom is speaking on Day Two of the LTE MENA 2014 conference, taking place on the 11th-13th May 2014 at the Conrad, Dubai, UAE. Ahead of the show we get his views on how networks will have to adapt and change to face increasing demand over the next five years.
What are the major challenges you are facing as you upgrade your network to LTE?
In my views and based on our recent experience in upgrading our network to LTE, the major challenges can be summarised as follows:
- Modernizing the network by building a single RAN based on a Software Defined Radio access platform. This will enable the efficient reuse of available spectrum.
- Upgrade the network backhaul to support native IP.
- Upgrading the core network and building an efficient and state-of-the art packet core network including Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) and PCEF functions
Lead consultant, PS Core Operation for MTN Nigeria
Mustafa Golam, lead consultant, PS Core Operation for MTN Nigeria will be speaking on Day Two of the LTE MENA conference, taking place on the 11th-13th May 2014 at the Conrad, Dubai, UAE. In this interview ahead of the conference we find out more about how the importance of data access is growing at the most valuable resource in Africa.
What are the major challenges to upgrading your network to LTE?
The major challenges that we have faced during LTE Trial in our network are:
a) A lack of adequate resources with the expertise and understanding of planning and integration of LTE networks.
b) Issues related to planning and network dimensioning with operators.
c) License and frequency issues with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) or other regulatory bodies.
d) Improper handshaking and lack of troubleshooting expertise in multi-vendor scenarios.
e) A lack of measurement tools or guidelines performance of the LTE core.
Roman Lapszow, Senior Project Manager, Technical Strategy, Radio Networks and Microwaves, Orange Group
Roman Lapszow, Senior Project Manager, Technical Strategy, Radio Networks and Microwaves, Orange Group is speaking on Day Two of the LTE MENA conference, taking place on the 11th-13th May 2014 at the at the Conrad, Dubai, UAE. Ahead of the show we speak to him about where the Orange network is heading in 2014 and where the focus is for upcoming developments.
How much impact will LTE-Advanced have on Orange’s networks in 2014?
The launch of LTE networks has brought a significant growth of data traffic and consumer interest. LTE is driving evolution in our networks and there is no doubt of the value of LTE. The only remaining question in markets where we have yet to launch is when and in what bands. As LTE-A is concerned, the majority of our efforts are focused on studies, evaluations and deployment of LTE-A. The major drivers for 2014 are carrier aggregation, the flagship feature of LTE-A, and to a lower extent coordinated multipoint processing (CoMP).
Conference Researcher, LTE World Series,
Informa Telecoms & Media
What makes LTE monetization different in MENA from the rest of the world?
Within the MENA region, the current state of the LTE market varies hugely from country to country. As of April 2013, all the GCC states had commercially deployed LTE. Yet, some of the emerging markets in the MENA region – particularly those in North Africa – have yet to deploy 3G.
However, the growth of LTE in the Middle East and Africa is set to outstrip any other region in the world. Cisco’s 2013 report predicts that the number of 4G connections in the region will grow from over 3.6 million in 2013 to more than 86 million in 2018.
For any market considering deployment of an LTE network or even if it’s established, there seems to be a common question – what are the advantages of an LTE network and how can the network be monetized?
Jayhun Mollazade is CEO of WiMAX carrier Sazz
Jayhun Mollazade is the CEO of Sazz, the Azerbaijani broadband provider owned by local telecoms operator Azqtel. He is delivering a case study on the operators Wimax to LTE migration strategy on Day Two of the 4th annual LTE MENA conference, taking place on the 11th-13th May 2014 at the Conrad, Dubai, UAE. In the interview we get an update on Sazz’s plans, and Mollazade’s view of the TD-LTE eco-system, and what he thinks will have an impact on the LTE industry in 2014.
What’s the latest update on your deployment of an LTE network?
We have recently spent time attending seminars, technical presentations and webinars to gain deep knowledge about the LTE technology, its technical applications and benefits and how we can apply it to our company and customers. We have also spent some time planning the possible deployment of LTE and our migration path from Wimax. Have completed discussions with several vendors and we expect to make a selection sometime soon.
Vishwanath Madhugiri, Chief Innovation Officer, Lycamobile
Lycamobile is an MVNO that is really going places. Its customers certainly are – all over the world in fact, with the company offering low cost calls in Europe, Asia and now the US. 2014 is certainly set to be a big year for it. Ahead of the 4th annual LTE MENA conference, taking place on the 11th-13th May 2014 at the Conrad, Dubai, UAE, we speak to Vishwanath Madhugiri, Chief Innovation Officer who is speaking on the subject of innovative services as revenue stream for operators on Day One of the LTE MENA conference. Madhugiri explains how even though data usage however is only at a nascent stage. working with Lycamobile gives MNOs access to customers in ethnic communities for which they would otherwise not be able to cater.
Please tell me more about Lycamobile and what makes it unique?
Founded in 2006, Lycamobile is the solution for those who want to connect back home. Currently providing low-cost high-quality international calls to over 30 million customers across 17 countries, Lycamobile’s sheer span, sharp focus on customer service and innovative business model has seen us outgrow our competition; achieving greater coverage of the European population than any other network operator. A Mobile Virtual Network Operator initially developed for the expatriate communities in Europe; Lycamobile has fast become a global brand synonymous with connecting customers with their loved ones across oceans, borders and networks at the cheapest possible price. This is what makes us unique.
Dr. Mohamed Nadder Hamdy, Director Mobile Network, Etisalat in the UAE
Etisalat is one of the biggest operators in the Middle East and has a 55 per cent market share in the UAE according to Informa WCIS stats of which 4G is a small but growing part. Ahead of the LTE MENA 2014 show we speak to Dr. Mohamed Nadder Hamdy, Director Mobile Network, Etisalat in the UAE to get some insight into its network deployment and his predictions for the future.
You’ve had an LTE network for a couple of years now. What would you say are the key learnings you have made about next-gen network deployment?
We’ve learned that devices eco-system and network infrastructures are a chicken-and-egg problem. Operators realise that new technology traffic pickup is mainly dependent on the spread of devices, especially smartphones. On the other hand, device manufacturers are dependent on the operator’s technology adoption plans for their mass production, economy of scale, plans.
A typical clash was the iPhone 5 LTE launch, which lacked support for 2.6GHz despite the fact that at that time this band was the most deployed amongst European and the Middle East operators. Nowadays, operators are facing the same challenges concerning their forward planning for LTE-A carrier aggregation bands. Regional operator alliances that can guide device manufacturers are a clear necessity to solve this issue.