Press Releases

HE Mohamed Al Ghanim of TRA provides industry insights at du’s second Customer Advisory Board forum

Proving its commitment to engaging with its valued business customers, du hosted His Excellency Mohamed Al Ghanim, Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), at its second Customer Advisory Board Forum (CAB). The event – the first of its kind thought leadership platform in this region - took place at Atlantis Hotel in Dubai and attracted leaders from various industries to address and discuss key issues and trends in customer behaviour and expectations.

14 December 2010
  • Director General of TRA, Mohamed Al Ghanim opens up about key topics of broadband, VoIP and the liberalisation of the UAE market
  • The forum provides the answers to questions posed by top industry leaders

Proving its commitment to engaging with its valued business customers, du hosted His Excellency Mohamed Al Ghanim, Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), at its second Customer Advisory Board Forum (CAB). The event – the first of its kind thought leadership platform in this region - took place at Atlantis Hotel in Dubai and attracted leaders from various industries to address and discuss key issues and trends in customer behaviour and expectations.

As a sign of du’s commitment to listening to its customers, the forum was based on the feedback received during the company’s inaugural forum meeting last June. Addressing the gathered CAB, Osman Sultan, CEO, du, said: “This forum discussion is very valuable to us. We are proud that the event comes while we are celebrating a new milestone of reaching an estimated 37 per cent market share of active mobile subscribers in the UAE by the end of August and more than 4 million customers, the highest growth of any other telco in the region. This is testament to the strength of our product and service offering, our tailored marketing strategies but most importantly our ability to deliver to our customers.

We will continue to bring the best value that we can offer to our customers and shareholders.” “The purpose of meeting here today is to share experiences and insights into customer trends and issues from our various different businesses. We need to gather information, discover trends that are taking place and move forward with this. The earlier we do this, the easier it will be to prepare for the future,” he added. The company had the honour of hosting HE Mohamed Al Ghanim, Director General of TRA, as the keynote speaker at the event, who engaged in an open and interactive roundtable discussion with the other CAB members. His Excellency touched upon the important topics of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), broadband and the opening up of the UAE telecom market.

“It has been proven that having high quality and widespread broadband access enhances a country’s economy and boosts both the private and public sectors. Indeed, here in the UAE, broadband traffic and smart phones usage is higher than anywhere else in the region, social networking is becoming increasingly popular and people are demanding more and more bandwidth. Therefore broadband access will be a national focus for the TRA over the next few years,” said Al Ghanim. “The liberalisation of data centres and cloud computing will be the next big issues for the industry,” he added. When asked by the assembled CAB members about VoIP, Al Ghanim said: “Today the world is changing to IP. With regards to internet telephony, only the telecom service providers in the UAE are licensed to offer VoIP services and they have started to provide these services already. This measure is set in place in order to protect telecom customers, as if a company is not registered with us, we cannot intervene or help should a problem arise. We have been working with Skype and other VoIP providers to see if their services could be established here in the UAE.” He concluded: “I am an admirer of this initiative from du, which is the first of its kind in the region that I have ever seen. du’s CAB forum provides a fantastic opportunity for customers to engage with their operator openly and honestly and get answers to their questions and for du to listen, engage and deliver what people really want.”

du’s inaugural Customer Advisory Board meeting was moderated by industry expert Rob Staples, Global Head of Telecom, Media and Entertainment, Capgemini Consulting. Throughout the evening, a presentation was delivered by Clive Haswell, CIO MENA, Standard Chartered Bank, entitled ‘Key insights into the Banking and Finance industry’. The presentation covered the key challenges faced in building a global IT infrastructure and banking operations across the region. Finally, Rob Staples, the moderator of the evening for the second time running, led a forum session entitled ‘Listen, Engage and Deliver’, which included a synopsis of areas of interest and interactive session on four key categories. These categories included Propositions, Solutions and Services, Cost of Global Connectivity, Customer Relationship Management and Service Delivery Management & SLA, and stimulated a lively discussion among the CAB members. Several top industry leaders attended the CAB meeting, in their own capacity, including – HE Mohamed Al Ghanim, Director General, TRA; Rob Staples, Global Head of Telecom, Media and Entertainment, Capgemini Consulting, George Pawlyszyn, Executive Director, Injazat Data Systems; Sultan Karmostaji, Chief Operating Officer, Higher Colleges of Technology; Marwan Al Ali, CCO, Jumeirah Group; Prince Denzil, CIO, Siemens; Clive Haswell, CIO, Standard Chartered Bank; David Horton, VP, IT, Mashreq Bank, and Osman Sultan, CEO, du, along with senior executives from du.

About du

du, the integrated telecom service provider in the UAE, launched mobile telecommunication services in February 2007 across the UAE, in addition to internet and pay TV services that du provides in some of the free zones of Dubai. Call Select, du’s nationwide fixed line services for voice telephony, was launched in July 2007. By the end of 2008, over 3 million people in the UAE chose to become du customers. Among du’s many firsts is its historic Number Booking Campaign for both individuals and business, Pay by the Second billing system, Mobile TV, Mobile Payments, first of its kind ‘WoW’ recharge card (which offers customers the choice between ‘more credit’, ‘more time’ and now the ‘more international’ recharge option with additional credit on international calls) and Self Care.

For business customers, du business offers include Closed Business User Group and preferred International Destinations. du Broadcast Services division brings scalable media technology platforms and telecommunication solutions to the broadcast community through its world-class teleport (Samacom) and Master Control Room (MCR) facilities. du products and services for consumers and business are available through du’s retail network, currently numbering 34 du shops located in strategic locations across the UAE, including the recently opened flagship store located in the heart of Abu Dhabi.

In addition, customers can access du products and services at more than 3000 authorised dealers or through the du e-shop, accessible at http://shop.du.ae du shops are a one-stop-shop for mobile service, carrier select and the payment of service bills. du is 39.5 per cent owned by the UAE Federal Government, 19.75 per cent by Mubadala Development Company, 19.5 per cent by Emirates Communications & Technology Company LLC and the remaining stake by public shareholders. It is listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and trades under the name du.

Awards to date

  • du selected as a UAE Superbrand at the Superbrands awards gala 2010.
  • du presented with an award for Best Middle Eastern Local Currency Deal 2008 by UK’s EuroWeek
  • du won two prestigious awards at UAE Web Awards 2008. du e-shop portal won the best strategic online portal award in the e-commerce category and du media club website won the bronze award in the media and press category.
  • du corporate brand launch campaign awarded a Cristal MENA award in 2008.
  • du declared ‘Best Brand’ at Telecoms World Awards Middle East 2007 for innovative branding and outstanding brand success.
  • Second place in the New Brand Launch category at the GMR Effectiveness in Marketing Awards 2007.
  • Silver Award for the best website in the ICT category at the UAE Web Awards 2007.
  • du WoW TV Commercial awarded amongst the best 50 TV commercials in mobile telecom category in the world for 2007.

For further information, please contact:

Saugat Chatterjee
Public Relations Manager Brand & Communications du
Mobile: +971 55 9367045
Email:

Reka Sepsy Manning
Selvage & Lee
Tel: +971 4 367 6154
Mobile: +971 55 220 68 20
Fax: +971 4 367 2615
Email: