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This informative panel focused on five main areas: the subsea cable systems’ forecast for 2025; the role and new opportunities for the wholesale and capacity industry in the digital era; how to boost network performance; the role of the optical equipment industry; and how to meet the industry’s capacity requirements.

The panel’s moderator was Georges Jaber, VP wholesale and BD, Salam, with the panelists being Cengiz Oztelcan, CEO, GBI (virtual); Amaru Chavez, CTIO, MTN GlobalConnect; @Sameh Sobhy, managing director, Middle East, Turkey & Africa, PCCW Global; Nabil Baccouche, group chief carrier and wholesale officer, e&; Eric Handa, CEO, APTelecom; Alex Lee, managing director, CMI Middle East; and Michael Farrie, head of EMEA, Verizon.

Kicking off the discussion on subsea system deployments, Nabil Baccouche said that the wholesale voice business is under huge pressure. “We are actively embarking on Africa-1,” he noted.

In terms of revenues in the wholesale sector (voice, data, roaming, A2P), Amaru Chavez felt that thinking outside the box was important.

Alex Lee assured that as long as sizable revenue is there, demand for “voice will still be around.”

In terms of the wholesale market growth, Eric Handa opined it would be incumbent on the operator to find ways to increase the amount of products offered through the device.

Sameh Sobhy touched upon the advantage of global connectivity provided by submarine cables to help to address the huge and growing demand coming from end users and governments, especially in the MENA region and how PCCW Global was contributing to grow and develop new business opportunities.

In terms of localization, Cengiz Oztelcan said that there would be more and more projects bypassing the Red Sea and opening to the Mediterranean through other routes. Michael Farrie suggested the strength of a more localized approach.

Yahia Sefraoui added that inwi has always tried to put innovation first in all of their wholesale operations.

In conclusion, Cengiz Oztelcan said that customer satisfaction remains at the top of GBI’s wholesale activities, and they will continue to invest to become a dominant player.

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