Vick Khalil Mamlouk, vice president sales Middle East and Africa at CommsCope. Vick Khalil Mamlouk, vice president sales Middle East and Africa at CommsCope.

Vick Khalil Mamlouk, vice president sales Middle East and Africa at CommsCope, discusses with CommsMEA how the company is adapting its LTE solutions to what its customers need in the region

CommsMEA: What is Commscope’s main difference compared to its competitors when offering LTE solutions to operators in the region?

What differentiates CommScope is the quality of the product, the quality of the solution that we offer. Some operators have started to deploy LTE solutions and they have found out that the LTE deployment is very sensitive and requires more quality. That is why CommScope is working very hard to improve our standards when we offer services. We test our equipment to make sure that it is certified and it meets the required quality.

Nowadays, a large number of standard solutions related to LTE are offered to operators. However, service providers are demanding a customised solution and that is what we are doing.

CommsMEA: How are operators going to monetise the LTE investment?

This is the big issue. This is a huge topic, as monetisation is very important. Operators cannot upgrade the infrastructure fast enough and face all these investments.

We are working now very closely with operators to see how they should invest in a solution that is very cost effective, a solution that can be monetised. For instance, we are working with operators asking them what the most important parameters for the antennas are. If the operator uses these customised antennas, they can get 10% more coverage or capacity that can be translated to monetisation. That is how we are going to monetise the solutions, to make sure that it is cost effective and it brings opportunities to the operators.

CommsMEA: How regulators should approach LTE spectrum offering?

In my opinion, now, governments and regulators are not charging as much money for LTE spectrum fees as they used to charge for the 2G or 3G licenses. I think that LTE spectrum should be given for free.

Every country should have electricity and water, and they should have telecoms and spectrum as a basic need too. We are trying to promote, within the regulators, to allow operators to have the spectrum that they might possibly need without charging them.

CommsMEA: What are operators demanding in the Middle East and Africa region?

There are unique situations depending on the operator. For the telcos that sell their towers, you need to market solutions in a different way, compared to those that still have their assets, as they have different priorities.

Some operators are leasing their towers and the most important thing for them is not how expensive or cheap the product is, but the weight and the dimension, because when leasing their towers, companies charge operators based on weight and dimension.