CommsMEA: What are going to be the primary focus areas of your company at the MWC 2018?
MWC 2017 was a successful experience for Sudatel as a first participation of its kind under the name of Sudan. The national pavilion, composed of Sudatel and another Sudanese company, welcomed a very much diversified audience who see the flag of Sudan for the first time in this international event. Some financial negotiations have been conducted during MWC 2017 and a MoU has been signed with the Etisalat Group, via its branch EDCH.
During MWC 2018, which take place after lifting the American sanctions imposed on Sudan over 20 years, Sudatel is keen to extend its exposure internationally.
We would like to reflect tremendously our diversified activities and our success story across our operations in Sudan as well as in West Africa; Mauritania, Senegal and Guinea Conakry. Our group strategy 2020, will be heavily presented to reflect the process of our transformation towards a leading ICT player in the region. Additionally, we will emphasise on our country readiness to welcome any foreign investments and the healthy environment of doing business in Sudan.
CommsMEA: What in your opinion is going to be the biggest technology trend of 2018 going forward?
The international technology trends will be the IoT, Smart cities, AI and big data. We can add also the virtual reality and 360, Chatbot for everything and the Robots can start to supplement service worker roles.
CommsMEA: In your opinion, how can operators be a valuable part of the rapidly evolving ICT ecosystem so that they can monetise new streams as well?
Operators need to have different models capturing more values in the digital space, Operators have huge assets compared to digital players, yet they are struggling to monetise as before. Operators are still at the heart of the ICT ecosystem, however they have to develop more capabilities in IT and digital and lead on digital transformation journey. IoT, app based services and Artificial Intelligence are new potential revenue streams.
CommsMEA: How was 2017 for Sudatel and what’s going to be the primary strategy in 2018 for Sudatel?
Generally speaking, 2017 was aligned with our strategy 2020 ambitions which focus mainly on transformation from a traditional operator to a leading ICT provider in the region. 2017 witnessed also the process of adopting certain pillars to achieve our transformation target.
It is worth mentioning that in the last two years Sudatel recorded 87% overall progress of its strategy across its different pillars.
The Board of Directors held its last meeting for the year 2017 in Dubai, at the beginning of January, in order to review the financial results and the achievements of the year to be announced during Q1 2018. Our primary strategy for 2018 will be the following: creating organisational agility; leading customer experience; accelerating business growth; building richer connectivity; and developing people, culture and community.
CommsMEA: Which are the main revenue streams you are looking to focus on?
Both mobile and fixed broad are still key focus areas in 2018. In addition, we will work towards the introduction of new digital and content services as well as focus on wholesale activity utilising Sudan’s unique location to provide services to landlocked surrounding countries. Regarding our operations in West Africa, mobile money is the key area of growth for our sub group Expresso, based in Dubai.
CommsMEA: Are there new launches or partnerships we can expect from your company at MWC 2018?
We are planning to announce important partnerships with major players in the ICT space preparing the company for 2020 aspirations as a leading ICT provider in the region.
CommsMEA: Are you promoting entrepreneurial activities at MWC 2018 as well?
Not this year, although our group has a very fruitful partnership with regards to young entrepreneurship in Sudan, in collaboration with the private sector, the British embassy and the British Council. We have an ambitious plan to promote the Sudanese start-ups to encourage the young generation to be the leaders in the future. This is an invitation from Sudatel to any partner interested to build a new African generation with advanced tools of understanding and better thinking.