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Thu 11 Dec 2008 04:00 AM

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The countdown begins

Telecom professionals set to converge at CommsMEA awards.

It is easy to take the power of telecommunications and the influence it has on the economy and individuals for granted. The operators that continue to drive the sector forward are rarely in the limelight.

But with the CommsMEA awards just days away, the region’s operators are soon to gain the recognition they sorely deserve. The event is expected to trump last year’s edition by attracting more than 350 specialists, including CEOs from the region’s heavyweight operators.

There are 12 awards in total, nine of which are targeted exclusively at regional operator, including Customer Service Provider of the Year; Telecoms Deal of the Year; Fixed Line Operator of the Year; ISP of the Year; New Entrant of the Year; Overall Operator of the Year; Middle East Mobile Operator of the Year; and African Mobile Operator of the Year. Meanwhile, the Lifetime Achievement Award aims to recognise one industry veteran who has made an outstanding contribution to the sector.

The two remaining awards, Most Innovative Non-Voice Service and Telecoms Technology Investment of the Year, differ slightly from the other awards in that they are also open to non-operators that have made a significant contribution to the sector in the past year.

This year the nominations came in thick and fast, with a marked increase in submissions compared with last year’s awards. The majority of nominations were particularly strong, leaving a tough task for the judging panel.

The winning entries, which are being kept under close wraps until the event, have been decided after a rigorous judging procedure in which the best nominations received by CommsMEA were passed to a judging panel consisting of industry experts including Milan Sallaba, partner, Oliver Wyman; Jawad Abbassi, founder and general manager, Arab Advisors Group; and Akshay Lamba, leader for strategic businesses at Al Futtaim Technologies. Tie-breaks were decided by taking into account reader nominations for each category.

This year’s awards ceremony will take place at a gala dinner on 15th December at Dubai’s Grand Hyatt hotel, and will be attended by senior executives and personalities from the Middle East and Africa telecommunications industry, as well as several high profile special guests. The CommsMEA team looks forward to seeing you there. For further information, visit: www.itp.net/events/commsmeaawards.

Roger Field is the editor of Communications Middle East & Africa.

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