Arab Advisors media summit opens in Amman
Amman, June 6, 2011
A major conference in the context of a continued and accelerating mobile broadband boom in the Arab world has commenced in Amman.
Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan inaugurated the eighth annual Arab Advisors Group Media and Telecommunications Convergence Conference today (June 6) at the Four Seasons Hotel.
The massive two-day conference is attended by 500 delegates from around 150 companies spanning 23 countries.
“I am delighted to say that Jordan is the top contributor of Arabic online content today with over 75 per cent of the region’s Arabic content originating in the Kingdom, but there is enormous potential for growth,” said Princess Sumaya.
In a speech entitled Listening and Leveraging: New Conversations With The Arab World, Princess Sumaya said: “Our world is dynamic; it is demanding; and it is ambitious. It is fuelled by passion and it is empowered by technology. It is creative, it is hopeful and it is not going back to the isolation of the past.”
The Princess added that new means of expression, particularly social media, had revolutionised the way people and businesses communicate with each other and with the market, and the way the market makes its preferences known.
“Leveraging this new landscape is the key to our companies’ and our communities’ future progress and prosperity,” she added.
Princess Sumaya said that in business, and in life, the Arab world was crying out for meaningful and rewarding conversations: “And we all have our parts to play in making sure they happen.”
“Media diffusion is building a broader choice of content that is oblivious to state borders and blind to cultural difference.”
“Diverse worlds are colliding and an astounding array of connections is being made between Arabs and the wider world. The extraordinary immediacy of this new technology has built a framework for following and analysing developments as never before,” she added.
Dr Khaled Lahham, secretary general, Ministry of ICT, said: “Convergence presents the Jordanian local ICT sector with a great opportunity that we cannot afford to ignore. We will continue to focus on enabling the regulatory environment to embrace convergence through the current revision of the government statement of public policy this year.”
"The 2011 edition of the convergence conference is effectively a post-convergence conference. Convergence has already happened where the media and telecom industries have moved from having un-shared certainties to shared uncertainties in that the new business models are still developing in the context of blurring lines between hitherto distinct verticals,” he added.
Jawad J Abbassi, Arab Advisors founder and general manager, said: “The Arab Advisors Group is very pleased to have the continued support of Princess Sumaya Bint Al Hassan, which underscores the importance she places on advancing the TMT industries in Jordan and the MENA region at large."
"The Arab Advisors Media and Telecoms Convergence Conference has become the primary annual event for bringing together the media and telecoms industries as evidenced by the strong support from the sponsors and the level and numbers of attendees,” he added.
Most Arab countries opened up their markets for multiple players, greatly enhancing competition and increasing the number and quality of services.
By May 2011, 14 out of 19 Arab countries had fully competitive cellular markets, with the exception of Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Qatar and the UAE- which had cellular duopolies. Fixed services lag, however, with only four countries having competitive fixed telephony markets, a statement said.
Moreover, 14 countries had competitive Internet markets and only 4 countries had duopoly Internet markets, it added.
On the broadcast media front, the number of free-to-air (FTA) satellite channels in the Arab World continues to grow and reached 538 FTA channels by April. The FTA landscape has grown by 438 per cent between January 2004 and April 2011, according to the statement.
The main sponsor of the eighth Media and Telecoms Convergence Conference is Zain, a leading telecom service provider in the region. – TradeArabia News Service