VIDEO: COMMS MEA Awards 2019

The COMMS MEA Awards 2019 saw the most innovative, customer focussed, and forward-thinking Middle East and Africa companies awarded for their efforts in their specific fields.

The 14th edition of the COMMS MEA Awards saw 14 awards given to the most innovative, forward-thinking, and customer-focused organisations in the telecoms landscape in the MEA region.

5G TRAILBLAZER OF THE YEAR
This award recognised an organisation working to develop and deploy 5G in the Middle East and Africa. COMMS MEA received a number of exceptional nominations for this award, but Huawei really stood out, having signed agreements for 5G services with Viva, Etisalat, Zain, and more. Huawei is known for its innovation in the 5G space globally. Congratulations Huawei.

BUSINESS SERVICE INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR
This focused on the telecom product or service that made an outstanding contribution to the business sector in the Middle East & Africa. COMMS MEA is pleased to announce Datamena for its exceptional business services across the UAE. Datamena provides data centre and connectivity solutions. In 2019, datamena launched a Global Interconnect Ecosystem with hubs in Mumbai and Marseille, transforming its operations from a regional hub to a global player. An open, simple and secure platform based in the UAE gives customers an ecosystem of potential partners, facilitates new business opportunities and helps accelerate growth with seamless interconnection. Congratulations Datamena.

INTERNET OF THINGS SOLUTION OF THE YEAR
This brand new category reflects the incredible innovations taking place in this sphere. Liquid Telecom showed exceptional work in the marketplace, outstripping its competition with its work on Kenya’s fishing industry. Kenya’s huge fishing industry has a problem: Climate change and human interference with water levels are affecting the health of fish. The use of Liquid Telecom’s sensors and an IoT network has enabled fisherman to revolutionise their feeding systems. This has led to healthier fish and an increase in yields.COMMS MEA is pleased to award Liquid Telecom this year. Congratulations Liquid Telecom

MOST INNOVATIVE NEW SERVICE OF THE YEAR
This focused on the operator, vendor, or developer that launched a particularly innovative or successful service or application in the past year. This year Viva Bahrain won the Award for its introduction of VIVA Cash - an application offering consumers the very latest secure and convenient digital mobile wallet for everyday payments with a value-added service of domestic and international remittances. We are pleased to award Viva Bahrain the innovative new service of the year award. Congratulations Viva Bahrain.

MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA TELECOM OPERATOR OF THE YEAR
This year’s winner showed impressive operational performance in reporting five consecutive quarters of profit clearly demonstrating the success of the company's digital growth strategy that has placed the company in a much stronger financial position, and for this reason, and others Zain Saudi stood out amongst its competitors. Congratulations Zain Saudi.

NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR
This award is given to the operator that has substantially enhanced its network during 2018-2019. This year Ericsson and its outstanding Ericsson Radio System (ERS) portfolio for 5G nabbed this award. The judges thoroughly enjoyed its nomination. Congratulations Ericsson

OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE AWARD
COMMS MEA is We are pleased to announce that Virgin Mobile UAE took this award for its fully digital mobile brand, allowing for easy customer interaction.Congratulations Virgin Mobile UAE.

REGULATORY INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR
Another hard category to judge, this award was given to TRA Bahrain for its forward-thinking by creating the legal separation of the incumbent (Batelco) into two distinct and separate legal entities, whereby the network arm (B NET) is split from the retail arm for the purposes of creating wholesale only entity that provides access services to all licensed operators indiscriminately. In addition B NET is tasked with rolling out ubiquitous fibre covering 100% of all businesses in Bahrain and 95% of all residential addresses in the kingdom.

SMART CITY & NETWORK INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR
Leading the nominations in this category was Nokia, who showcased its Nokia's Driver Behaviour Analytics for Safe and Comfortable Driving, an initiative that Nokia has developed, which is a smartphone-based solution to help cities become smarter to eliminate many threats that originate from the drivers behaviour, but also combat inadequate road conditions and challenging traffic design. Congratulations Nokia.

DIGITAL CONTENT SERVICE INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR
This award went to Comviva Technologies. Comviva Technologies managed Digital Content Services for Ooredoo Kuwait for its sixth continuous year of operational excellence, with a notable 3X growth in overall revenues since the inception of the partnership in 2014, and a healthy 10 per cent Y-o-Y growth. Its digital services content management also resulted in exponential growth across key content genres; 9X for Videos & Music and 4X growth for Games genres which is reflective of the immense end-user satisfaction. Congratulations Comviva Technologies.

TELECOM GROUP OF THE YEAR
Zain with its continuous focus on developing innovative value propositions and offering a superior customer experience to enterprise customers delivered strong revenue growth from Sept 2018 Sept 2019. Zain is addressing the ICT needs of governments and enterprises companies with a comprehensive mobile, fixed, IoT, IT security and cloud portfolio; building end-to-end solutions.  This really grabbed the judges attention. Congratulations Zain

CSR INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR
Huawei stood out in this award category for its Huawei’s Middle East ICT Competition, which continues the company’s commitment to preparing youth to become leaders in a world in which every person, home, and organisation is fully connected. It sees Huawei work with local governments, educators and partners to identify and nurture ICT talent in order to equip Middle East countries to pursue their national agendas for digital transformation. Congratulations Huawei.

Editor’s Choice Awards:
These awards are given at the editor’s discretion and are based on the exceptional level of nominations received during the awards process.

Our first Editor’s Choice award highlights the extensive work this telecom operator has done in North, Central and West Africa. Sudatel has grown rapidly in recent years and is now the major telecom presence in the region with operations across Northern, Central and Western Africa – and an award-winning data centre. The telco is a force for good both in Sudan and across the region bringing stability, employment – and, of course, telecoms services that improve people’s lives. Congratulations Sudatel.

Our second Editor’s Choice award, highlights the far-reaching benefits of satellite solutions. The largest satellite operators in the world, Luxembourg-based, SES has always led the way in innovation. SES is recognised as the first satellite operator that launched the DTH business.  SES also operates the only commercially available Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite constellation O3b which has been operating for the past five years and by all accounts is considered to be a commercial success. This Editor’s Choice award goes to SES Networks. Congratulations SES Networks.

The COMMS MEA Awards 2019 were held in partnership with our event partner datamena. Datamena is a simple, effective and seamless ‘one stop shop’ for MPLS and capacity services, allowing cost-effective connectivity between Africa and datamena (DX1). datamena is a carrier-neutral data centre located in Dubai, operated by EITC, and is home to the UAE Internet Exchange (UAE-IX) and hosts over 150 of the world’s leading enterprises, carriers, cloud and content providers.

Our sponsors this year were platinum sponsor Huawei, the driving force behind telecom innovation, and a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. Huawei is committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organisation for a fully connected, intelligent world.

Bahrain telco operator, Viva Bahrain, who recently doubled its funds raised for its Ramadan donations campaign launched in partnership with RCO and in support of people with diseases or disabilities.

SES Networks, which provides reliable and secure satellite and ground communications solutions. Currently its customers deliver over 8,200 digital TV channels to over 355 million homes using the SES network.

Sudatel, a powerful telco innovator in Sudan, which is responsible for the construction and maintenance of Sudan's telecom infrastructure. Sudatel is more than 60 per cent owned by the Sudanese government; the remainder being owned by private interests, and finally Comviva Technologies, a subsidiary of Tech Mahindra With an expansive suite of productised solutions, Comviva Technologies caters to over two billion mobile users globally.

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