Middle East Telecoms Reviewed By Lucent Exec

Lucent exec Fernand Hollevoet at a
recent conference highlighted telecom factors and solutions affecting the
Middle East, as well as the challenges and opportunities for businesses as
the Internet age approaches.

Hollevoet, Lucent Technologies Business Communications Systems’ (BCS)
regional director for the Middle East and Africa (MEA), spoke on business
opportunities in emerging markets at the recent Middle East Telecoms ’99
conference in Cairo, Egypt.

“Business must control its own destiny, overcome obstacles, have vision and
courage to create long term opportunities, particularly in the emerging
markets of the Middle East,” said Hollevoet. “At different stages of IT
sophistication, state-of-the-art telecommunications will help boost
business opportunities, and realising this, these countries are investing
heavily in their telecommunications infrastructures.”

Telecommunications and general business “go hand-in-hand” as the region’s
economies are diversifying, deregulating and liberalising some services,
with such moves offering opportunities to a range of global investors like
Lucent Technologies, Hollovoet explained.

“Electronic commerce is gaining popularity and more and more companies
are realising its benefits as an extremely time and cost-effective way
of doing business,” he added. “Made possible by telecommunications, the
impact on our sector for more innovation will be monumental.”

Hollovoet said that telecom advances are only as successful as a country’s
willingness to accept the new services, and pointed to partnerships between
global players and local business as “positive proof that the Middle East
is setting the agenda for many other parts of the world to

“The Middle East and Africa will not be left behind as the rest of the
world marches on,” concluded Hollevoet.

Lucent Technologies BCS established regional headquarters for the Middle
East and Africa in Bahrain in 1996.

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