CxO Insight

FutureNet Middle East & Africa, Speaker Interview with Haithem M. Alfaraj, STC

Haithem M. Alfaraj, CTO, STC, is speaking on a Panel at FutureNet Middle East & Africa on 26th January. We recently caught up with Haithem to get his thoughts on the panel topic: The Network of the Future and the Future Telco.

What do you see as the key requirements for future telecoms networks and how are they different from what we have today?

Telecoms are on a continuous improvement journey. We are well aware of the rules and the new needs that are reshaping the network, and we are eager to assist and support our customers as they embark on their digitization journey. The future requires us to engage with our customers wherever they are across the globe and ensure that they have full access to our services. And we are striving every day to offer the best possible user experience.

The industry is accelerating, and so Telecoms are moving fast to build and capture the latest technologies and innovations in the market. We are very keen to provide our customers with the best technologies to ensure their success and we aim to continue to be a key accelerator in the Kingdom’s digital transformation.

Which business and operating models do you think will deliver revenue growth in the future?

The market is trending towards revenue-sharing deals and joint ventures with cloud providers, which is one of the key factors driving the telecom industry in the next few years.

With 5G technology, the communication network architecture has shifted fundamentally, accelerating revenue generation through innovative services for consumers as well as corporations large and small alike. Therefore, stc focuses on growing the 5G ecosystem and embodies new use cases through co-creation projects, expanding partnerships, and scrutinizing consortiums with industry players.

stc assumes that privacy and capacity requirements are expected to drive the demand for private networks. Therefore, stc prospects potential investment to develop ecosystems and monetize technologies through projects and products by exploring different business models.

What are the implications of 5G Standalone on the network of the future and when will we feel its effects?

The capabilities of 5G as it continues to evolve, paired with other emerging technologies that stc has already adopted such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and IoT, will unlock and help us to transform our customers’ experiences and provide customized and innovative solutions to enterprises to offer full-fledged technology and telecom solutions on platforms.

In stc, we are well aware that the future network should be able to offer a unique and different experience to a range of sectors such as health and education to serve a wide range of use cases with fine granularity.

stc is keen to continue to develop this technology as it will have far-reaching impacts on how our customers work, study, socialize, live, and play all over the world as we have seen during the pandemic. And we are working hard every day to be able to deliver this to the community.

Will hyper-scale cloud providers become a permanent fact of life for telcos and, if so, in what roles?

With hyper-scale cloud providers bringing strong ecosystems, and telcos bringing strong networks, relationships with governments, and global reach, this is a synergistic opportunity for both. Hyper-scale cloud providers bring a huge value to the telecom industry. Luckily, the relationship between hyper-scale cloud providers and telco providers is in a very early stage of development as networks transform into new ecosystems.

It will open the door for enormous opportunities such as reducing costs, offering scalability, or offering interoperability. Therefore, in stc, we adopted a multi-cloud strategy on a per-use case basis where we have a strong and long-term partnership with Alibaba for example. As well as that, we are in ongoing discussions with Microsoft and Google as part of our MENA HUB vision.

To hear more insight from Haithem register for FutureNet Middle East & Africa here