The countries within the Middle East are characterised by significant economic and social differences. While all 15 mobile network operators in the countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council are on track to have commercially launched 4G-LTE by the end of this year, a number of markets in the region still lag behind the global average in terms of 3G penetration.

Mobile is a transformative technology that has already had a significant impact upon the Arab States. Now, as the UAE and other countries in the region begin to pursue ambitious smart city initiatives and mobile broadband connections continue to increase, the role that mobile will play in connecting communities will only become more important.

The GSMA Mobile 360 Series – Middle East conference identified and addressed the key challenges and opportunities applicable in all of these markets, and provided an invaluable opportunity for distinguished regional industry stakeholders from both developed and emerging markets to share their experiences and further the development of mobile broadband.

In its second year, Mobile 360 Series – Middle East was once again co-located with GITEX.

Check out 2014 event photos here! 



Mobile 360 - Middle East saw great success with over 400 executives, regulatory officials, industry leaders and press in attendance. The event saw over 80% senior-level representation, including 48 CEO's and Chairmen. Government delegations from 8 countries in the MENA and East Africa region, as well as attendees from 39 countries attended the event. Leaders from a variety of industry platforms participated in this year's event, ranging from operators, app developers and device manufacturers to government officials, venture capitalists and financial representatives.



GSMA Showcase

The GSMA Showcase offered a close look at GSMA programmes and initiatives in Connected Living, Digital Commerce, Personal Data, and Network 2020. The Showcase will featured innovative applications of mobile technology along with hands-on demonstrations by our partners.

Attendees were able to experience the future of mobile through:

  • A virtual journey through augmented reality to see the future of driver information, mobile entertainment, vehicle telematics and associated services, such as connected insurance, all powered by the GSMA Embedded SIM specification.
  • A truly native IP-based communication experience hosted by D2 Technologies and NewNet, who have teamed up to provide VoLTE calls, video-based calling and Rich Communication Services (RCS) via D2 Tech’s embedded IMS client integrated in the handset device.
  • A glimpse into what retailers and digital commerce may offer in the near future, through a SIM-based NFC API solution that turns your smartphone into a shopping assistant – a product developed in partnership with the GSMA, Orange France and Déjàmobile.
  • A look into the latest that mobile has to offer in online consumer authentication.  Mobile Connect is convenient and can help simplify the authentication process using a mobile phone.


The Mobile 360 Series – Middle East conference programme was comprised of keynote addresses, panel sessions, and case studies to prompt audience interaction and discussion. High profile speakers from industry-leading organisations presented on a myriad of topics, including:

  • The Development of Smart Cities
  • Network Infrastructure Sharing
  • Rural Coverage
  • Digital Commerce
  • Enterprise Mobility
  • Business Models for LTE Monetisation   
13 October

10.00 – 12.15Keynote 1: Smart Cities and Smarter Living

With transformative smart city deployments underway in the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and much of the necessary underlying infrastructure already in place, the Middle East is seeking to show the world how smart cities should be done. Often based upon the ability to forge public-private partnerships, such projects are a critical response to the ever-evolving challenges of urbanisation. As cities experience growth, resource efficiency and infrastructure bottlenecks must be tackled with sustainable solutions to avoid compromising quality of living. With these goals in mind, the mobile industry is ready to provide critical layers of mobility, trust, and intelligence. Showcasing some of the most advanced smart city projects in the world, this session will address ways in which governments and local authorities are taking a citizen-centric approach to smart cities, while making provisions for digital identity management and cloud data security and putting human values above technology. High profile speakers will discuss the fundamental building blocks for successful smart city development - from mobile authenticated access to government and healthcare services, to mobile driven payment and couponing systems - anytime and anywhere.

Speakers Include: 

Moderator:  Ghazi Atallah, MD & Partner, neXgen Group

10.00 Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA

10.15 H.E. Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, Director General, TRA

10.30 Ahmad Julfar, Group CEO, Etisalat

10.45 Ger Baron, CTO, City, Amsterdam

11.00 Osman Sultan, CEO, Du

11.15 Ying Weimin, President of Wireless R&D, Huawei

11.30 Panel Discussion

          Osman Sultan, CEO, Du

          Khalifa Al Shamsi, Chief Digital Services Officer, Etisalat

          Ger Baron, CTO, City, Amsterdam

          Jarmo Eskelinen, President, European Network, Living Labs, CEO, Forum Virium

12.45 – 13.45Keynote 2: Realising the Socio-Economic Advantages of a Connected Society

There is great potential for mobile broadband to empower communities across both the developed and emerging markets of the Middle East and North Africa region. Tapping into the need for truly life-changing e-government and m-health services, there are a multitude of socio-economic benefits to be gained from investment into connected societies and digital enablement. For example, this region has the highest youth unemployment rate in the world and mobile operators are at the forefront of tackling this problem with targeted initiatives, facilitating access to education and job creation. Mobile infrastructure investment is vital in creating an attractive business environment and provides national policy-makers with a highly efficient mechanism for the diffusion of education, investment, and economic opportunity. What requirements do operators, governments, and regulators have in order to support private sector investment in mobile broadband infrastructure and services? This session will examine the ways in which operators and governments alike are facilitating connected societies and achieving socio-economic aspirations, considering the impact of such initiatives upon both urban and rural populations.

Speakers Include:

Moderator:  Justin Springham, Managing Editor, Mobile World Live, GSMA 

12.45 Eng Abdulaziz Al Sugair, Chairman & MD, STC

13.00 Hatem Dowidar, Regional Director Middle East, Africa & Southeast Asia Region & Chairman, Vodafone Egypt

13.15 H.E. Atef Helmy, Minister, Communications & Information Technology, Egypt

13.30 Jacob Korenblum, CEO & Co-Founder, Souktel Mobile Solutions

14.45 – 16.00Making Mobile Money for the Unbanked a Financial Success

It is estimated that 2.5 billion people in lower to middle income countries are unbanked. Yet more than 1 billion underserved people in these markets already have access to a mobile phone, which can provide the infrastructure to offer vital financial services such as payments, transfers, insurance, savings and credit. However, only 6% of the world’s mobile money services are active in the Middle East & North Africa. For mobile money to scale successfully in the MENA region as a digital payment solution, it needs to provide users with the same ubiquity of acceptance as cash or card schemes. Sub-Saharan Africa still accounts for the majority of services but with mobile money rapidly becoming a mainstream product for operators and services achieving scale, competition is now increasing among providers. Extending the digital financial ecosystem and growing revenues are among the most pertinent of concerns for operators. Furthermore, low customer activity also remains a challenge in most mobile money markets globally, with only 29.9% of registered accounts active in June 2013.  This session will highlight the status of mobile money in the Middle East and North Africa, demonstrating the real social impact that such services are having upon unbanked populations in this region.   

Speakers Include:

Moderator:  Seema Desai, Head, Mobile Money, Mobile for Development, GSMA

14.45 Marc Rennard, Senior EVP, Africa, Middle East & Asia, Orange

15.00 Tauseef Riaz, Acting Chief Digital Services Officer, PT Indosat

15.15 Panel Discussion

          Abrar Mir, EVP & Group Head, Digital Money & Mobile Payments, United Bank Limited

          Zahir Khoja, VP, Global Channels, Emerging Payments, CEO Mobile Payment Solutions, MasterCard

          Alireza Toloue, MD, Jiring

          Omar Moeen Malik, Head of Strategy & Projects, Easypaisa, Telenor Pakistan

          Eric Barbier, CEO, TransferTo

16.30 – 17.30Mobile Network Economics

The availability, affordability, and quality of mobile broadband services will be a key determinant of a nation’s competitiveness and relevance in the global economy. Despite diminishing commercial returns for operators, significant additional investments are required to upgrade network infrastructure in order to handle the exponential growth data traffic surging across mobile networks. This session will explore what is needed from operators, governments, regulators and other ecosystem players to ensure continued investment and the development of mobile services in the MENA region. The session will also explore what investments in physical infrastructure are required to deliver emerging services and applications, cost-reduction and strategies to extend coverage and capacity for customers, best practice regulatory frameworks, the provision and management of spectrum and how governments can support increasing investments by mobile operators in support of next-generation data services. 

Speakers Include:

Moderator:  Shiv K. Bakhshi, VP, Industry Relations, Ericsson

16.30 Kamal Shehadi, Chief Legal & Regulatory Officer, Etisalat Group

16.45 Zarrar  Khan, CTO, Viva Kuwait

17.00 Panel Discussion

           François  Rancy, Director, ITU Radiocommunication Bureau

           Kamal Shehadi, Chief Legal & Regulatory Officer, Etisalat Group

           Zarrar  Khan, CTO, Viva Kuwait


14 October

09.00 – 10.30Keynote 1: Strategies for New Mobile Revenue Growth

According to Cisco, mobile data traffic in the Middle East and Africa grew 107 percent in 2013, well above the global growth rate of 81 percent. The Middle East and Africa is expected have the highest average annual growth in mobile data traffic, at 70 percent per year between 2013 and 2018. Despite this impressive growth in data traffic, revenue growth is expected to slow significantly in most markets. 

In order to keep pace with demand, improve customer experience and develop new revenue streams, operators must carefully evolve their business strategies and look to opportunities for innovation. This session will explore strategies to improve the customer experience, adapt to new value chains, create new digital services and develop appropriate business models. How can we as an industry ensure the entire digital eco-system from networks to devices and content are optimized for mobile delivery? How can trends like digital identity and trust management unlock innovative and profitable services for mobile operators? Where are the opportunities for growth into adjacent industries and how can operators collaborate with other ecosystem players to accelerate revenue growth? Finally, how should operators prioritise their innovation investments i.e. network innovation versus digital services? 

Speakers Include:

Moderator: Justin Springham, Managing Editor, Mobile World Live, GSMA

09.00 Scott Gegenheimer, CEO, Zain

09.15 Erkan Akdemir, CEO, Avea

09.30 Panel Discussion

            Michael Kogeler, COO & CMO, Middle-East & Africa, Microsoft

            Cynthia Gordon, Chief Commercial Officer, Ooredoo Group

            Cenk Serdar, SVP, Consumer Unit, STC

            Khalifa Al Shamsi, Chief Digital Services Officer Etisalat Group

11.00 – 12.15Monetising LTE and Profiting from a Transition Toward All IP

With all 15 mobile network operators in the countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) on track to have commercially launched 4G-LTE by the end of 2014, the prospect of brand new services and faster connectivity is exciting for both mobile operators and their customers. Indeed, mobile operators in many markets within this region can take advantage of the favourable combination of low levels of fixed-line connections and high smartphone penetration, which offers great promise for mobile broadband uptake. Yet, although the networks may be ready and usage is increasing, LTE penetration still remains comparatively low in the Middle East. Moreover, as internet-based communications become a viable alternative for customers, mobile operators face potential disintermediation from the mobile voice and messaging value chain. This is arguably the one of the greatest challenges facing the telecoms industry.   This session will reveal what operators are doing to monetise their networks and package and differentiate their services in a way that will communicate their true value, moving beyond the basic proposition of faster connectivity in the transition towards an all IP environment. 

Speakers Include:

Moderator: Dan Warren, Director, Technology Standards, GSMA

11.00 Muhammad Saqib, Director Technical Strategy & RAN Planning, Warid Telecom

11.15 Ihab Ghattas, Assistant President of Middle East Region, Huawei

11.30 Panel Discussion

           Noel Kirkaldy, Head of Technology, Middle East & Africa, Nokia Siemens Networks

           Ihab Ghattas, Assistant President of Middle East Region, Huawei

           Muhammad Saqib, Director Technical Strategy & RAN Planning, Warid Telecom

           Petteri Suonio, Technical Sales Director, Comptel

13.15 – 14.30Devices, Big Data and Bringing New Services to Life

By 2020, the number of connected smartphones, tablets and notebook computers around the world is expected to surpass the 7 billion mark.  This figure, while impressive, will be eclipsed by the 25 billion or so of “other” connected mobile devices expected by 2020, including wearables, machine SIMs, and remote sensors. With this plethora of devices and sensors, comes an abundance of data which can be leveraged to deliver new useful applications and improve services. This session will present experiences of extracting, analysing and effectively using intelligence from this big data via numerous examples in areas such as mCommerce. From predictive analytics to anticipate buying habits to understanding customer preferences and creating more personalised experiences, how can retailers take advantage of big data? What policies, regulations, or legislation might be needed to safeguard transparency, privacy and security?

Speakers Include:

Moderator: Simon Torrance, CEO, Metaflight

13.15 Carlos Domingo, Senior Executive Officer, Business & Data Intelligence, Mobily

13.30 Mohamad Ibrahim, Corporate Strategy Director, Viva Kuwait 

13.45 Panel Discussion

           Eric Claudel, President, Middle East & Africa, Telecom & Banking, Gemalto

           Carlos Domingo, Senior Executive Officer, Business & Data Intelligence, Mobily

           Pritesh Jani, Client Partner & Digital Services (BSS) Telco Leader MEA, IBM

           Mohamad Ibrahim, Corporate Strategy Director, Viva Kuwait 

14.30 – 16.00Transforming Enterprises with Mobility: Global Competition and Greater Productivity

Enterprises across the world have had to become increasingly adept at managing mobility within their organisations and many are reaping the benefits of enabling employees to work more flexibly.  The consumerization of IT and BYOD trend is now starting to gain momentum in the Middle East and organisations need to respond by having adequate security policies in place to protect corporate information. This session will address the ways in which mobile operators can play a key role in assisting their enterprise customers in managing this transition towards greater mobility. The session will also demonstrate how operators are tailoring this approach to cater for fast-growing SME segment, for whom mobile can play a crucial role in ‘levelling the playing field’ with their larger competitors, as well explore the tangible business benefits to mobility.   

Speakers Include:

Moderator: Jawad Abbassi, Founder & GM, Arab Advisors Group

14.30 Sami Smeirat, CEO & VP, Orange Enterprise, Jordan, Orange

14.45 Vikram Chadha, VP, SME Marketing, Du

15.00 Umar Saeed, Head, Enterprise PMO & Portfolio Management, Telenor Pakistan

15.15 Susi Steigler-Peters, National GM, Education Industry Business Development, Telstra

15.30 Panel Discussion

           Susi Steigler-Peters, National GM, Education Industry Business Development, Telstra

           Umar Saeed, Head, Enterprise PMO & Portfolio Management, Telenor Pakistan

           Vikram Chadha, VP, SME Marketing, Du

           Sami Smeirat, CEO & VP, Orange Enterprise, Jordan, Orange


Identifying and addressing key challenges and opportunities in applicable markets, high profile speakers presented on topics including the development of smart cities, digital enablement, mobile network economics, operator growth strategies, rural coverage, big data, m-commerce, enterprise mobility and business models for LTE monetisation.

Thought leaders and industry experts from the most influential companies within the expanding mobile value chain addressed topics through visionary keynote presentations, thought-provoking interviews and interactive panel discussions.

The speakers for Mobile 360 Series - Middle East included:


Registration for Mobile 360 Series – Middle East is now closed.  Thank you for your interest in this event! 



Where was Mobile 360 Series – Middle East held?

The event took place at the Dubai World Trade Centre, located at 2nd Zaabel Road (D 73 Rd), Alsaada.

What were the event dates?

Monday, 13 October – Tuesday, 14 October, 2014

Do you have an overview of the venue?

*Click image to enlarge



What types of passes were available? What did the pass provide access to?

There was a single pass type for the GSMA Mobile 360 Series – Middle East. This pass included access to all conference sessions, daily lunches and networking breaks on 13 – 14 October, 2014.

What currencies and forms of payment were accepted?

Payment was accepted in AED by credit card only (MasterCard and Visa).

No cash payment accepted onsite.

What is the Cancellation or Substitution Policy?

ALL SALES ARE FINAL. Cancellations, as well as 'no shows', will be liable for the FULL registration fee. NO REFUNDS SHALL BE GIVEN. Cancellation of travel reservation and hotel reservation are the exclusive responsibility of the registrant.

Substitutions between attendees from the same company and at the same invoice address may be made by providing the GSMA with written notice of the name of the original attendee and full details of the substitute attendee. To arrange a substitution, please e-mail full details to

For more information, please review the Event Terms & Conditions.


What are the Event Terms and Conditions?

To view the Event Terms and Conditions, please click here.


What types of sessions were offered?

The programme included an interesting mix of keynote sessions, panel discussions, pitch presentations and case studies, allowing plenty of time for audience participation.

Will conference presentations be made available?

We always make conference presentations available to attendees. However, not all speakers make their presentations available for download. Details on how to access presentations will be shared soon.


What if I still have unanswered questions?

Please contact us! We’re active on social media (FacebookTwitter, etc) and we’ve got a contact form further down on this page. Reach out, and we’ll respond to you as soon as possible!

Sponsors & Partners

Being a sponsor of Mobile 360 Series – Middle East allows companies to showcase their leadership in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and throughout the Middle East. Click the button below to download a PDF of sponsorship opportunities that were offered for the 2014 Mobile 360 - Middle East event.





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