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  1. 1. Voice & Data Convergence and its Regulatory Implications Facing MENA Regulators Regulating Competition in a Converging Market Telecommunications Regulatory Authority PO Box 10353 Manama Bahrain www.TRA.org.bh [email_address] 16 th June 2004 A.Andreas Avgousti General Director
  2. 2. Voice Vs. Data <ul><li>From </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voice to fax </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fax to VoIP </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>VoIP to Broadcasting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Broadcasting to ? </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Stay Connected <ul><li>A need for constant and continuous connectivity through : </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Access to telephony, internet, information </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Any time, any place. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Technology convergence : Fixed , mobile, 3G mobile, broadband , VoIP, WiFi </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Information delivery to multi-functional personal devises : PDA, handset, etc </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Regional difference – still to meet basic needs of all our communities and ensure availability for all </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility to content </li></ul>
  4. 4. Availability of Content Entertainment Games Broadcasting TV, Radio streaming Location Specific Information Content convergence in terms of delivery : Telephony, Internet, 3G mobile technology, Broadcasting,
  5. 5. Opportunities <ul><li>Investment opportunities in new technologies without interference from incumbent in terms of infrastructure and access to consumers </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced cost in investment </li></ul><ul><li>Development of local content and delivery that addresses local demands </li></ul><ul><li>Development of personalized content </li></ul><ul><li>Use of Arabic language allowing access to all citizens in the region </li></ul>
  6. 6. Role of Regulator? <ul><li>How should regulators position themselves in new era? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To lead? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To follow? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To stop? </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Regulators moving with speed of industry as opposed to lacking behind and delaying it. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Right set of skills (telecoms, IT, law, economics, …) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clear policies taking in mind international best practice attuned to local needs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fair and effective enforcement of the law </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Working together - exchange of knowledge with international and regional regulators </li></ul>Regional Integration & Regulatory Challenges
  8. 8. Regional Integration & Regulatory Challenges <ul><li>Liberalization of telecommunications markets is still new to the region- only a handful countries have fully liberalized markets </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction of competition and competition safeguards </li></ul><ul><li>Universal Service Obligations (USO) </li></ul><ul><li>Light- handed regulation for new technology to allow development </li></ul><ul><li>Firm hand on anti-competitive conduct to ensure fair development of competition </li></ul><ul><li>Copyright and IPR ownership and infringement </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Cross sector regulation ? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Telecoms Transmission </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Broadcasting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Content Content </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Need independent regulatory regimes that </li></ul><ul><ul><li>recognizes the needs of convergent industry; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focuses on market forces whilst keeping in mind on welfare needs, company objectives and consumer demands. </li></ul></ul>Regional Integration & Regulatory Challenges
  10. 10. Results <ul><li>New Market opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>New jobs </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced costs </li></ul><ul><li>Increased Quality </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Convergence is an opportunity not a challenge </li></ul>

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