Senior leaders from nine major mobile operators are individually undertaking initiatives designed to reduce the cost of roaming for consumers across Middle East and Africa, the GSMA announced.
Christian de Faria, CEO Africa, Bharti Airtel; Ahmad Julfar, Group CEO, Etisalat Group; Arthur Bastings, EVP Africa, Millicom; Sifiso Dabengwa, CEO and President, MTN Group; Dr. Nasser Marafih, Group CEO, Ooredoo Group; Marc Rennard, Senior Executive Vice;; President, Africa, Middle East and Asia, Orange; Abdulaziz A. Alsugair, Chairman and Managing Director, STC Group; Serpil Timuray, CEO, Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific Region, Vodafone Group and Scott Gegenheimer, CEO, Zain Group are the nine executives that aim to reduce costs.
“International and regional mobility is a critical factor in increasing trade and cross-border economic cooperation, which is a government priority across Africa and the Middle East,” said Anne Bouverot, director general, GSMA. “The initiatives of these nine operators are intended to serve to increase connectivity and make mobile more affordable for subscribers throughout these regions, encouraging greater adoption and usage of mobile services and enabling important socio-economic benefits,” stated Bouverot.
GSMA research has shown emerging markets, including many countries in Africa and the Middle East, are now the major engines of mobile connection and subscriber growth. The rapidly increasing pace of mobile adoption has delivered huge economic benefits for the regions, with the mobile industry directly contributing $60 billion to the sub-Saharan African economy, or six percent of GDP and $132 billion to the economies of the Arab States, or approximately 5.5 percent of total GDP, according to their release.