Thursday 11 December, 2014


08:00 – 08:30

Coffee and Registration

08:30 – 08:35

Introduction from Conference Rapporteur

Mark Colville , Principal, Analysys Mason

08:35 – 08:50

Keynote Presentation - Conference Priorities Ahead of WRC-15

Francois Rancy , Director, Radiocommunication Bureau, ITU

08:50 – 09:05

Keynote Presentation - WRC-15: The Regional Perspective

Tariq Al Awadhi , Chairman, Arab Spectrum Management Group

09:05 – 09:20

Keynote Presentation - WRC-15: A neighbouring country's perspective

Syed Ismail Shah , Chairman, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)

09:20 – 10:30

Session 1: WRC-15: What are the key agenda items for the MENA region, and how can it be ensured that the needs of spectrum users in the region are fully represented and protected?

WRC-15 is considered by many to be the most important for many years, with many crucial spectrum and band plan issues up for discussion in prime spectrum bands. The MENA region (along with the rest of the world) is currently seeing exponential growth in demand for wireless broadband, and finding the spectrum capacity to keep up with this will of course be one of the key priorities. It is crucial that in this area, and across the board, the right decisions are made in order to deliver an innovative and forward thinking framework that spurs competition, encourages the creation of new services, and drives economic growth. This session will follow on from the keynote presentations above to give representatives from industry stakeholder groups the opportunity to give their opinion on their key priorities and agenda items.

Moderator: Francois Rancy, Director, Radiocommunication Bureau, ITU
Daniel Hamadeh , Director, Spectrum Policy and Regulatory Affairs Middle East and North Africa, Motorola Solutions
David Hartshorn , Secretary General, Global VSAT Forum (GVF)
Fabien Migneret , ‎Senior Manager, Government Affairs Middle East North Africa, Qualcomm
Peter Lyons , Director of Middle East and North Africa, GSMA
Said Aljane , General Director, Topnet and Consultant, Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU)

10:30 – 10:50

Morning Coffee

10:50 – 12:20

Session 2: Unlocking the potential of the digital dividend bands – analogue switch-off and future band plan strategies

Most of the Arab countries from GCC have planned an analogue switch-off of the analogue television and a reshuffling of the digital broadcast channels by 2015. This means that with the decision at WRC-12 for the allocation of 700MHz band for mobile services in region 1, come 2015, the region will be implementing two sets of spectrum proposals across the 700MHz and 800MHz bands, and opens up the question of which should be prioritised. This session will look first of all at the planned road-map ahead for analogue switch-off across the region and the factors that need to be considered in order to achieve a smooth transition. It will then move on to consider the benefits and challenges associated with each of the band plan options across the 700 & 800MHz bands, and at what needs to be done to maximize the economic and social benefits of digital dividend spectrum.

- What is the current status with regards to digital switchover across the region, and what is the planned roadmap ahead? What is the impact on the population and how can any disruption be minimised?
- What level of co-ordination is being seen between regulators in the region as they tackle the switchover and look to reallocate the digital dividend, and where does the balance lie between aiming for a co-ordinated approach, and also taking into account national differences?
- Where should the priorities lie for the region with regards to the re-organisation of band plans, and how can the available spectrum be maximized for the benefit of all users?
- Which option would offer the most benefits in terms of commonality with other regions and long term economies of scale?
- What incumbent users are present in these bands across the region, and how can it be ensured that a future-proof solution is selected for the benefit of all?
- What are the next steps that now need to be taken to ensure that countries throughout the MENA region are able to maximize the benefit of both the 700MHz and 800MHz bands as soon as possible?

Moderator: Amit Nagpal , Partner, Aetha Consulting

10:50 – 11:05

A roadmap for the MENA region to ensure a smooth digital transition

Tim Miller , Director, Plum Consulting

11:05 – 11:20

CASE STUDY: The Analogue Switch-off

Laith Hamad , Convener, The UAE Communications and Media Industry Group (UCMIG)

11:20 – 11:35

Bandplan strategies and priorities across the 700 and 800 MHz bands - a regulatory perspective

Abdoulkarim Soumaila , Secretary General, African Telecommunication Union (ATU)

11:35 – 11:50

Bandplan strategies and priorities across the 700 and 800 MHz bands

Shiv Bakhshi , Vice President, Industry Relations, Ericsson

11:50 – 12:20

Discussion with session speakers


12:20 – 13:20


13:20 – 14:50

Session 3: Meeting the growing demand for wireless broadband – technological and regulatory solutions

Driven by increasingly data-savvy consumers across the region and the significant growth of Arabic-language content and applications, demand for wireless broadband in the Arab world is growing nearly twice as fast as it is in other regions. Video content in the region now represents more than 50% of the total data traffic (Saudi Arabia alone sees more than 90 million YouTube video downloads per day - the highest per-capita figure in the world), and some predict that this figure that could rise to two thirds of the total traffic by 2018, leading to a high asymmetric capacity demand. This session will look at what is currently being done to ensure that enough spectrum is available in order to meet this increasing demand and at the various regulatory and technological solutions that are available.

- To what extent is there a need for additional spectrum bands to be identified for mobile broadband?
- Which bands are being considered (e.g 470-694MHz, L-Band, 2.6GHz, C-Band), and what is the feasibility of these? What are the optimal band plans?
- What role can supplemental downlink (SDL) play in supporting downlink traffic?
- What role can the Time Division Duplex (TDD) technology play in enhancing broadband user experience in MENA?
- How much of a part can spectrum sharing play in increasing efficiency? Is licensed or unlicensed sharing best?
- What role can off-loading technologies such as WiFi and small cells play?

Moderator: Shiv Bakhshi, Vice President, Industry Relations, Ericsson

13:20 – 13:35

Future Spectrum Demand

Mohammad Sadeq , Spectrum Affairs Manager, CRA Qatar

13:35 – 13:50

C-Band ecosystem development for IMT Heterogeneous Networks

Göran Berntson , Secretary General, 3.5GHz Interest Group; and Director, TDD Industry Development, Huawei

13:50 – 14:05

How much of a part can spectrum sharing play in increasing efficiency?

Fabien Migneret , ‎Senior Manager, Government Affairs Middle East North Africa, Qualcomm

14:05 – 14:20

SDL for the LBand – An opportunity for innovative mobile broadband services the MENA Region

George Salama , Senior Manager, Public Policy, SAMENA Telecommunications Council

14:20 – 14:50

Discussion with session speakers

14:50 – 15:10

Afternoon Refreshments

15:10 – 17:00

Session 4: Best practice for spectrum awards

Market mechanisms, such as auctions, trading and incentive pricing, are increasingly used by regulators around the world to promote efficient use of spectrum. To date, however, use of such mechanisms in the MENA region has been relatively limited. For example, some regulators in the region considered using auctions for LTE awards but ultimately preferred administrative assignment. This session will explore the scope for future use of market mechanisms in spectrum awards across the region.

- What is the appropriate balance between market mechanisms and administrative decisions in spectrum awards?
- Can auctions be effective in situations where there is low competition for new licenses?
- If prices are set administratively, what methodologies can be used to ensure fees reflect the market value of the spectrum?
- How do local factors, such as population size and local market structure, affect decisions on use of auctions and market pricing?

Moderator: Soren Sorensen, Senior Consultant, NERA Economic Consulting

15:10 – 15:25

Spectrum allocation mechanisms and delivering mobile broadband policy objectives in MENA region

Soren Sorensen , Senior Consultant, NERA Economic Consulting

15:25 – 15:40

The cost of spectrum auction distortions

Stefan Zehle , CEO, Coleago

15:40 – 16:05

Can you remove complexity from spectrum auctions?

Simon Edkins , Senior Economist, Copenhagen Economics

16:05 – 16:20

Presentation - the regulatory perspective

Sultan Al Balooshi , Engineer - Spectrum Policy, TRA, UAE

16:20 – 16:35

Best practice for spectrum awards and valuations - an industry perspective

Frédéric Bonnin , Deputy Director, Group Spectrum Office, Orange

16:35 – 17:00

Discussion with session speakers

17:00 – 17:20

The Last Word! - Final Summaries and Conclusions Ahead of WRC-15

Led by the conference rapporteur, this wrap up session will look at the day's discussions in the context of WRC-15, and at what conclusions can be drawn as we move towards finalising the common regional positions and priorities.

Mark Colville , Principal, Analysys Mason
Tariq Al Awadhi , Chairman, Arab Spectrum Management Group