MTC scores hat-trick at CommsMEA awards

Company chief executive Saad Al Barrak picks up Lifetime Achievement award.

Kuwait's Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC) Group proved the big winner at last night's CommsMEA awards walking away with not just one but two of the top prizes from the event.

The regional telco giant scooped the prestigious award for Overall Operator of the Year at the event, which took place in Dubai, as well as its CEO and deputy chairman Saad Al Barrak picking up the Lifetime Achievement award.

The panel of judges described MTC as an operator that has "captured the imagination of the industry in the region as it looks to build a global business".

They commended Al Barrak for his achievement in transforming MTC from a single-market entity with 600,000 subscribers to a multi-national corporation with activities in 21 markets and more than 32 million subscribers.

MTC also collected a third award through its subsidiary Celtel, which won the prize for New Telecoms Service of the Year.

Etisalat-Misr was another winner on the night fighting off competition from UAE telco operator du and Bahrain's Nuetel to scoop the prize for New Entrant of the Year. The Egyptian arm of UAE-based telecoms giant Etisalat, which began operating in May, recently announced it had crossed the one million barrier in subscriber numbers in just seven weeks of operations.

Another Egyptian operator celebrating last night was Telecom Egypt, which won the prize for Fixed Line Operator of the Year, while Oman's second operator Nawras collected the award for Middle East Mobile Operator of the Year.

The annual awards, which were organised by CommsMEA magazine, celebrated 12 companies or individuals in total.

Other winners on the night included Qatar Telecom (Qtel), which picked up the prize for Telecoms Deal of the Year for its $3.72 billion acquisition of Wataniya Telecom in March, and Mena Telecom, which won the Telecoms Technology Investment of the Year award for its deployment of a nationwide WiMAX network.

Nominations for the awards were made through CommsMEA after which a judging panel consisting of Akshay Lamba, senior consultant at KPMG, Jawad Abbassi, founder and general manager of Arab Advisors Group, and Milan Sallaba, head of office, Oliver Wyman, Dubai selected the winners.

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