Oman is believed to be well positioned as the regional data hub connecting East, West and Africa. As one of the key ICT players in the country, Sultan Al Wahaibi, Chief Business & Wholesale Officer, Ooredoo Oman shares how the company aims to stay at the forefront when it comes to innovation and collaboration, as well as ensuring high service and connectivity standards, both locally and internationally.

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In the spotlight of the August 2022 edition, Telecom Review had an exclusive interview with Omantel’s CEO Talal Said Al Mamari, the kingpin of the company since June 2014 and a well-seasoned telecom professional with 26 years of experience. Under his term, critical initiatives and projects have been carried out including the company’s 750-million-dollar initial public offering (IPO) sale in 2005, the restructuring of Omantel that brought the mobile and fixed operations together, and the acquisition of a 21.9% stake in Zain Group, the biggest transaction of its kind in the region.

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Women are proving themselves in the workplace and developing their skills in all sectors which has allowed them to assume leadership positions, notably in the telecommunications and ICT industry. Denise Helou, Senior Business Development Manager at Verizon Partner Solutions, shares, in an exclusive interview with Telecom Review, the achievements made by the company thus far during its digital transformation journey, and tackles the importance of Arab women’s role in this field.

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COVID-19 updates
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Coronavirus has had a significant impact on the international travel industry and it is projected to cost network operators over $25 billion in lost revenue during the next 9 months due to losses in roaming revenue.

Juniper Research examined in a recent analysis two possible scenarios: medium and high impact, believing a low impact is now not possible. The high impact scenario assumes severe disruption to international travel will continue for 9 months, with travel restrictions and reduced demand for international travel continuing. In this case, the resulting impact on operators’ international roaming revenue would be significant.

In the high impact scenario, Juniper Research believes over 650 million passenger trips will be cancelled due to coronavirus over the next 9 months. This is over 80% of the anticipated international passenger trips that were previously forecast before the spread of the virus.

The research assumes that over half of all roaming revenue for the year will be affected, amounting to $25 billion in lost revenue. The research also highlighted the period between June and August as of particular significance when the demand for international travel is high. It forecast that operators could lose up to $12 billion in roaming revenue alone in these three months.

In terms of the overall impact on operators, it must be noted however that global roaming revenue only accounts for approximately 6% of total operator-billed revenue per year, limiting the hit on the industry.

Given the nature of the international travel industry, the research anticipated there will be no strategies available to operators to mitigate this loss. It forecast that services, such as virtual conferencing, will offer businesses an alternative to international travel, but will offer no benefit to operators.

Additionally, the research highlighted that travel cancelled due to the spread of coronavirus is unlikely to be rebooked. As a result, this loss of roaming revenue is unlikely to be recovered once the international travel industry resumes normal service

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