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NEC has been a leading technology company for the past 120 years and continues to be recognized for the quality, durability and innovative approach to all its information and electronics solutions. Tamer Bdran, managing director, NEC GCC, talks to Telecom Review, giving a regional perspective to its operations and a look to the year ahead.

The GCC is among the most digitally-advanced regions globally. How does NEC contribute to this tech evolution?

The GCC countries have developed enormously over the last couple of decades. It is one of the most digitally-advanced regions in the world, thanks to its government’s digital leadership initiatives.

People’s lives in the GCC have become even more digital than ever imagined by Sci-Fi books. These include: paperless initiatives, blockchain implementation, crypto-leading initiatives and regulations and, of course, safety and security, which are “perceived everywhere,” with this region becoming the safest place in the world.

At NEC, we are proud to be part of this evolution and one of the main partners helping in this evolution in both ICT and safer city solutions with our leading offerings in biometrics, smart surveillance, AI/ML, cloud, 5G and other technologies and solutions that heavily contribute to digital transformation.

These technologies are used by millions of users in many verticals: transportation, government, telecommunications, retail and many more.

NEC always adopts the technology disruption approach in which we are investigate the aimed business value, service excellency and seamless customer experience.

Can you share notable case studies NEC has worked with in the GCC regarding digital transformation?

Although there are several use cases, allow me to highlight two: one for Safer/Smart Cities and one for the Telecom Sector:

Safer/Smart Cities: NEC successfully implemented seamless travel experiences in more than three recognizable airports in the GCC region. The project's goal was to ensure that travelers’ journeys were safe, easy and comfortable.

It is worth mentioning that we proudly contributed in significant countries major events through our excellent collaboration with transportation authorities for the smart mobilities.

Telecom/CSP Sector: In partnership with leading CSPs in the region, we launched end-to-end 5G slicing and a fully automated MEC experience to enable the 5G B2B offering.

In summary, we are making people´s lives much easier, thanks to technologies that do not need to be “perceived” (they are mostly in the “backstage”) to enable better, faster and more reliable digital services.

From your perspective, which technology trends will continue in the GCC, and how will NEC maximize its products and solutions in response to these?

To serve economic diversity and new business expected in the region, such as tourism, fintech/wealth management, smart cities, manufacturing and entertainment, I believe that the following technologies will comprise the mainstream for the upcoming 2-3 years:

  • 5G-Advance use cases and Autonomous Networks
  • Cloud native adaption, synergy with hyperscalers and edge computing
  • AI applied to operations, biometrics, big data and automation
  • Fintech and metaverse

NEC is aware of the quick evolution in market dynamics. We have a solid strategy and roadmap to serve “from the bottom of the sea to space” (e.g., we have been the market leader in biometrics for 10 consecutive years and acquired market leaders in digital government, open networks, automation, orchestration, fintech/wealth management, agritech and advanced networks domains, and our world-wide R&D has developed next-generation solutions like HPC, quantum computing and many others). In addition, we are leading in open network (world-first MIMO ORAN), 5G core (world’s first cloud-native 5G SA), smart transportation, biometrics, Safer/Smart Cities , AI and other technologies applied to medical research and treatments. For the latter, we recently announced new initiatives on cancer treatment, with more than 10 years of experience in big data and ML-based skin cancer detection.

How will NEC continue to deliver on its commitment to empowering lives through connectivity in the region?

NEC has been, and continues to be, a leading company for the past 120 years, always recognized for the quality, durability and innovative approach to all its solutions, coming from one of the most technologically advanced societies in the world, like the Japanese market and community.

This experience in such an advanced, 126 million-person market allows us to:

  1. Understand the customer's needs: Provide the optimal, workable and scalable solution, taking into consideration that these needs change over time and from generation to generation (as an example, what will be the highest priority and killer application for Gen Z?)
  2. Provide superb products and solutions: Based on our global experience on needs and trends in long term, we continue innovating and enhancing our products and solutions to meet the new and future demands and features requirements in an Agile way to achieve a smarter, happier society
  3. Empower people and communities: Last but not least, we care about people and society’s development, both in the region and globally. Continuous learning and personal development are keys to our prospective future and empowering the lives of those in the region, as well as helping governments achieve their sustainable development goals through continuing innovation.

What are NEC's regional aspirations for 2023?

Backed by 117 years of experience and innovation, NEC knows what it takes to evolve to meet changing technology and enterprise demands. This capability to leverage decades of award-winning technologies enables NEC to deliver integrated information and communications solutions that create social value through problem resolution and bring new value to people, businesses and society.

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