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As a wrap-up to the 15th edition of Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit, Telecom Review organized the 10th edition of its Excellence Awards ceremony where companies and industry leaders are recognized for what they have accomplished during the year.

Telecom Review, together with an independent panel of judges, continued its dedication and commitment to the ICT industry in ranking the best of the best in terms of corporate innovation and performance as well as individual capabilities and contributions as influential players globally.

Commenting on the success of the event, Toni Eid, founder of Telecom Review and CEO of Trace Media, said, “This year, we are back together in the city of Expo 2020, coinciding with the celebration of UAE’s jubilee year. Being the first one to hold a hybrid event during the pandemic, we have done it again with ensured safety and quality for the 15th edition of Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit. I am definitely proud that we are heading towards the 18th year of our business and recognizing the 10th year of the Telecom Review Excellence Awards ceremony. I would like to thank every partner for their support and congratulate all the winners. See you again next year!“

Jeff Seal, chief awards officer, managing partner, and editor-in-chief, Telecom Review, said, “This year the Telecom Review Award program had a very high interest level from the industry, with a record number of nominations from around the world. The Awards continue to be the “standard” for which the industry judges its peers. The Telecom Review panel of judges are leading experts from around the world and spent quite a bit of time deliberating on the winners.”

Below is the full list of winners during Telecom Review Excellence Awards 2021 ceremony:

Best Digital Transformation Provider — Huawei

They work with organizational leaders to innovate around services, covering many 4IR technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and more. 

Best 5G User Growth — Zain KSA

Despite being an exceptional year in terms of the unprecedented challenges in the wake of COVID19, 2020 saw them reach new heights in the Saudi telecommunications sector by establishing itself as the largest provider of the 5G network and extending the best 5G services across all the Kingdom’s regions.

Best Customer Service Provider (Operators) — Verizon Partner Solutions

With the ability to keep their customers and employees safe, connected, and supported during this difficult COVID time their core services to enable communication to connect people, places, and things across the globe became even more important during the pandemic. Their teams remained focused on providing these essential services so that customers could all remain connected with each other.

Best Loyalty and Rewards Program — Etisalat Smiles Application

Built with the theme of enhancing customer happiness, offering tons of deals & rewards every day to customers. Though Etisalat Smiles was launched initially only for their consumers, given the popularity and demand for the app among UAE citizens, residents, and visitors, the app is opened to everyone as an OTT tool.

Best Cloud Provider — Netcracker

Their digital BSS is configurable and enables fast time-to-market while offering a rich digital experience. Their customers can provide personalized, best-in-class customer engagement across all channels.

Most Innovative Product/Service (Operator) — Zain KSA and Zain Yaqoot

Despite fierce competition and the growing adverse global trends facing businesses, they were able to maintain growth thanks to their agility in finding successful strategies in digital innovation initiatives, having undertaken a series of pioneering projects throughout the year.

Most Innovative Product/Service (Vendor) — CSG

They efficiently pivot setup and unify operations for all subsidiaries to reduce costs. As part of an engagement, they deploy a cost-effective, personalized, and cloud-based wholesale solution supported and enabled through the company’s digital wholesale SaaS.

Best Satellite Operator — Intelsat

They provide diversified communications services to the world’s leading media companies, fixed and wireless operators, telecommunications operators, and multinational corporations.

Best Middle Eastern Wholesale Operator — Etisalat

They are the most integrated wholesale carrier in the Middle East offering a full portfolio of premium services including voice, data, roaming, mobile services, messaging, satellite, Cloud Connect, DID voice, IPX, etc.

Best African Wholesale Operator — Liquid Intelligent Technologies

Their pan-African fiber network now stretches 100,000 km, making them the largest independent network provider not only in Africa but other emerging markets.

Best Asian Wholesale Operator — China Mobile International

Their continued investment and innovation in extending its network resources give customers huge network capacity connecting Asia, the Belt and Road Region, and the rest of the world, all the while growing the digital transformation of the region.

Best North American Wholesale Operator — Verizon Partner Solutions

They are ranked #20 on the Fortune 500, with $128.3 billion in revenue (2020) and 129,300 employees. They are the first in the world to offer 5G network edge computing with AWS Wavelength. Their Global Private IP network is one of the largest and most reliable Private IP networks in the world, and they have networking for over 14,000 VPS customers and has over 342,000 customer connections.

Best Global Operator — PCCW Global

Over the past 12 months, their focus on innovation through automation has fundamentally transformed the very nature of their existing connectivity and networking business.

Best Middle Eastern Operator — Etisalat

They are the only ME Telecom Brand to be among the world’s top 20 telecom brands and the first Middle Eastern group to break the $10 billion barriers in terms of widest portfolio value.

Best Industry Vendor — Nokia

They recently launched their new range of AirScale 5G products covering baseband, remote radio heads, and massive MIMO active antennas with digital beamforming.

Best 5G Innovation (Vendor) — Huawei

They support operators in providing 5G FWA (fixed wireless access) services for an impressive number of households. Also, 5G leased lines have been provided to a large number of SMEs to help them reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Best Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative — Sofrecom

For several years they have supported African governments in their digital transformation to improve economic development, the relationship with public services, and social inclusion.

Best Infrastructure Fiber Deployment — Benya Group

They were the partner of choice in one of the largest African countries, with the aim to develop the telecommunications infrastructure of the country.

Best 5G Infrastructure Deployment — Etisalat

They became the 1st operator in the region to launch a true 5G network in May 2018, deploying the first 5G enterprise solution at EXPO2020 center. Commercial 5G devices availability became a reality in July 2019, followed by use cases such as security surveillance on moving vehicles.

Best Carrier Enterprise Services — PCCW Global

Tackling these challenges head-on, they have developed the world’s first platform for Software-Defined Interconnection, which is a game-changer for business — making a simple, predictable, and secure process of connecting to cloud-based, business-critical applications and geographically distributed offices, partners, and clients.

Most Creative Enhanced Service Provider — APTelecom

They advanced their strategy to provide specialized private equity market support by assisting Verge Digital Infrastructure Pte Ltd (Verge) in identifying, evaluating, and closing its successful development round funding with a well-respected US-based investment bank.

Fastest Corporate Growth — MTN GlobalConnect

In less than 4 years, they have successfully developed from a small team to an operational company and are now moving towards a neutral pan African network.

Most Innovative Employer — TELUS

As rapidly-converging technology trends and mass digitization spurred by the global pandemic accelerate companies’ innovation agendas, talent is becoming a vital yardstick for future-proofing. They have achieved this goal.

Fastest Broadband Deployment — Dawiyat

They have deployed 600,000 household connectivity for FTTH in 3 years in 28 cities with on-time delivery.  The network was enabled from the start for Gigabit service for customers.

Best Telecom Brand — Zain Group

They strategically ensure that all its customers and the wider public are exposed regularly and dominantly through various communication and interactive means.

The 2021 Leader Merit Awards’ recipients are the following:

CEO of the Year for Infrastructure Initiative (Operator)

Frederic Schepens, MTN GlobalConnect

He leads a company that is a digital pan-African wholesale and infrastructure services company and an operating company in a larger Group. His belief is that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected world.

CEO of the Year - African Mobile Telecom Operator

Hazem Metwally, Etisalat Misr

He leads the third mobile operator to enter the market and has become one of the largest networks in the market, quickly attracting in excess of over a million subscribers.

CEO of the Year (Vendor)

Steven Yi, Huawei Middle East & Africa

He works with both regional and global ICT ecosystem partners on a vision to bring digital to every person, home, and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world. This includes innovations in 5G, cloud, and talent development.

CEO of the Year for Wholesale & Capacity (Operator)

Christian Patouraux- Kacific Broadband Satellite International Group

He founded his Company in 2013 to bring high speed, low-cost connectivity to remote regions of Asia Pacific, fostering greater internet usage, fueling economic growth and improvements in service delivery across covered regions. When he founded the Company it became the first satellite operator to start from the ground up with neither a parent company nor a license to operate.

CEO of the Year - Best Project Achievement

Ahmed Mekky, Benya Group

He has made immeasurable contributions to the digital transformation of Egypt and the MENA region in the past 24 years through his numerous leadership positions in renowned international institutions. Throughout his career, he facilitated and implemented mega-scale projects by establishing international alliances between key industry players.

Executive of the Year (Global)

Marc Halbfinger, PCCW Global

His leadership of his company and its growth are truly exemplary and he continues to take the company to higher levels. In addition, he has also contributed to the growth and transformation of the industry at an international level with contributions to the Global Leaders Forum and MEF, among others.

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