Christelle Toureille, marketing director for telecommunication solutions at Gemalto Middle East, discusses the VAS trends in the MEA region.
CommsMEA How is business in the MEA region in terms of growth? What products and services are in greatest demand from Gemalto in the region and why?
MEA is a large, young and dynamic region when it comes to telecommunication services with a fast growing mobile penetration reaching 80% in Middle East and recording a 15%-plus increase last year, mainly sustained by the new generations coming in. Gemalto’s global revenue in telecommunication reached EUR976 million last year and in Q1 2012, expanding by 11% compared to last year first quarter. Regarding MEA region in particular, growth was significant and remains in line with Gemalto’s overall figures.
CommsMEA What are the fastest growing services in the region? What services hold the most potential going forward?
In addition to being a supplier of SIM cards we also provide mobile operators with end-to-end mobile solutions from mobile financial services, roaming, digital life management solutions, M2M, and LTE advanced connectivity. Telcos are showing great interest for rich communications services based on IMS, relying on the SIM to guaranty the security and a flexible usage of these services. Our advanced LTE full-IP over-the-air platform and highly secure Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC) enable them to instantly activate the end-user’s subscriptions, manage user rights and securely deliver a reliable data connection over their LTE network.
CommsMEA What does Gemalto do in the NFC arena? How do you work with the operators in this field?
Gemalto has to date an unrivalled track record in providing the most secure installation and management of NFC applications on mobile phones with a contribution to over 50 NFC deployments worldwide. We provide mobile operators with a complete NFC solution including TSM platform and UpTeq NFC SIM vaults. Our OTA technology handles the remote deployment of services from different providers and manages multiple domains on any secure element issued by mobile operators, with the highest levels of security.
CommsMEA How do you see NFC growing in the MEA region? What are the main applications stemming from NFC?
In MEA region, mass market initiatives have been slightly more limited but more and more mobile operators are looking into the business opportunities brought by the technology. NFC technology can turn the mobile phone, which the user is already deeply attached to, into a mobile wallet featuring a full range of value-added services. Turkish mobile operators are currently working closely with mass transportation companies, hospitality ticket suppliers and marketing agencies to bring their subscribers mobile applications and services such as transit tickets, events ticketing and the like.