ME telecom sector growth 'to continue'
Dubai , September 9, 2007
The strong growth in telecom industry in the Middle East and Africa region should continue, with mobile device volumes expected to more than double from 2006 to 2010, said Nokia president and CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo.
“We estimate that the Middle East and Africa region may have the highest growth rate in industry device volumes over the next three to four years,” Kallasvuo said during the official opening of Nokia’s new regional office in Dubai.
The official opening was also attended by Abdullatif Al Mulla, CEO of Tecom Investments, a subsidiary of Dubai Holding.
Kallasvuo said Nokia expects the number of subscriptions in the region to double from 2006 to 2010.
“We have forecasted a global market of 4 billion subscriptions in 2010, up from the current level of just over 3 billion. And we expect that nearly a quarter of the increase in subscriptions will come from this region,” he said.
“This is quite an achievement, and it reflects the region’s ongoing success in expanding its local and regional economies.”
In his first visit to Dubai as CEO, Kallasvuo reinforced Nokia’s commitment to the region.
“The Middle East and Africa are critical markets for Nokia, and we expect strong economic growth to continue,” he said. “We plan to strengthen our operations by reaching further into rural communities to bring mobile communications to more people.”
Nokia expects the region’s industry device volumes to more than double by 2010 from the estimated over 100 million devices sold in 2006.
Timo Toikkanen, senior vice president of customer and market operations for Nokia Middle East and Africa, said Nokia’s success in the region has been due in part to “knowing our customers and providing solutions that specifically suit their needs.”
“For example, we have just launched our new regional applications that will coincide with the Holy month of Ramadan. The applications have been especially designed to aid in prayer and worship throughout the Holy month, with options like the Azkar and Ramadaniat, full of useful information and advice to users.”
Nokia’s mobile device volume in the region increased nearly 37 per cent year-over-year in the second quarter.
Kallasvuo also met with Nokia employees who run its operations for the Gulf, Levant, Iran, Pakistan and Africa from the Dubai office, which serves as the company’s Middle East headquarters. In a speech to the staff and media, Kallasvuo officially declared the new office open.
He noted that Nokia has been part of Dubai’s business community for more than 13 years, and that the company’s history in the region spans more than five decades, dating back to when Nokia’s primary business was producing wire cable. He said Dubai was an ideal location for Nokia’s regional office.
“Dubai has become one of the leading commercial centers in the world,” he said. “It is blazing a trail in technological and commercial development. State-of-the-art infrastructure and a world-class business environment mean that this great city is the logical place to do business and harness the new opportunities that are emerging across this region.”
Later during his visit, Kallasvuo praised the work of UAE’s leaders in creating a strong communications infrastructure, and their commitment to aiding the telecommunication industry to benefit both businesses and individuals.
“In a country like the UAE, where business is thriving, the need for connectivity is obvious,” he said. “The government’s efforts in providing the impetus and backing this vital industry is having a very positive impact.”-TradeArabia News Service