Operators in Middle Eastern and North African markets are starting to make progress with acquiring spectrum and finance for WiMAX networks.

At the same time they are beginning to encounter challenges associated with identifying profitable business models and the practicalities of operating a WiMAX network.

So it’s a crucial time for the region’s operators – which makes attending this year’s WiMAX Forum MENA on 23-24 June in Dubai all the more essential.

This highly commercially-focused two-day event has been thoroughly researched to address the key strategic and technical issues that are pertinent to all Middle Eastern and North African operators investing in WiMAX in 2009 and beyond.

Top industry experts, including 20 leading regional operators and vendors, are among the 30 plus speakers.

Attendees will be able to hear keynotes and take part in discussions on a wide range of topics, including the business case for WiMAX and assessments on the technological roadmap for WiMAX.

This year, the conference features a number of leading speakers from North Africa, including Mohsen Ebeid, Director of implementation, Egynet, and Kai Wuff, CEO, Kenya Data Networks, Kenya, as well as Jatem Bamatrof and Dr Ahmed Abbas Sindi, CEO, GO Ethiad Atheeb Telecom ( Saudi Arabia) who will share their experiences and insight with the participants.

Helen Ponsford, conference manager for the WiMAX Forum Congress Series, said that, as in other emerging markets, the low level of fixed-line broadband penetration in the MENA region provides a strong opportunity for WiMAX.

Informa forecasts that there will be 1.85 million portable WiMAX subscriptions and 650,000 mobile WiMAX subscriptions in the MEA region in 2012.

There are now over 12O 802.16d and 16e based WiMAX networks deployed or in planned deployment across the Middle East and Africa regions.

"Informa Telecoms & Media are bringing together regional representatives of the whole WiMAX community to explore and resolve the commercial and strategic challenges that lay ahead at this year’s WiMAX MENA event," she said.

"This event is sure to provide a much needed forum for regional operators, regulators, investors and equipment vendors to come together to share experiences, formulate strategies to support the commercial launch of services, plan for network infrastructure evolution and exchange valuable new contacts across the industry."

WiMAX Forum Mena is the only event supported by the WiMAX Forum, dealing with WiMAX deployment realities and allowing delegates to learn from the most advanced operators in the Middle East, North African and Persian Gulf region.

Among the many issues being discussed this year are the commercial imperative to launch WiMAX sooner rather than later in MENA, the impact the global credit crisis having upon an operator’s ability to secure funding for WiMAX, and optimising all elements of a go to market strategy.

There will also be panel discussions of issues such as what rollout strategy makes the most sense for WiMAX operators and the lessons that have been learnt about delivering indoor coverage in different environments.

Full details on the conference and how to register are available here.

WiMAX Forum Mena
23-24 June 2009, Movenpick Bur Hotel, Dubai
Day 1: 9 – 5.30pm
Day 2: 9 – 4.45pm

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