Dear Mr. Harb, I want my old connection back!

OgeroI had a 1Mbps ADSL connection with a contention rate of 1/8 (hopefully & optimistically) which felt like a 124Kbps rather than 2Mbps. I was ok about this connection since I could connect to the sites I wanted, receive my emails, and get what I needed to do to be done (while I am in Lebanon).

I am not comparing this connection to my UAE one or my Saudi one! There is NO WAY to compare the connections. It would be like comparing a 1970 VW beetle to brand new F50! Don’t get me wrong, I WAS happy with such a connection and for the fees I was paying (monthly fee). That was until Mr. Boutros Harb decided to change my connection so he could look good!

What the MoT did was:

  • He decreased my monthly fee from $8 to $6 per month
  • He increased (I am trying to believe that) my bandwidth from 1Mbps to 2MBPS
  • He increased my data cap from 10 GB to 40 GB

After using the new setup for 4 days, I concluded the following:

  • Well, I don’t believe that decrease in monthly fee is substantial to me or any of the people using the Ogero internet connection.
  • After trying the NEW 2Mbps connection, I WANT MY OLD CONNECTION BACK!
  • I am ok with the 40 GB data cap. It was already expensive paying for 10GB on the old setup.

Just to give some historical background about the issue of internet in Lebanon, one of the most expensive internet fees in the region:

  • The internet bandwidth is already available and just needs a click (actually an email) to expand it through SAT3 connection.
  • In terms of the ADSL & fixed line new installations, it has been a political issue rather than a logistics or technical issue.
  • The demand on ADSL & Fixed line is enormous due to the fact that little number of boxes are being installed per year.

So dear Mr. Boutros Harb, please ask your advisors to put a business & action plan so we could get our connection back! I need to connect to the internet in a smooth way.

Zain KSA’s Opportunity With The Intro of The New MVNO

Zain KSA new logo

Zain KSA new logo

The Communications & Information Technology Committee (CITC), Saudi Arabia’s regulator, has awarded two MVNO’s licenses to operate in the Kingdom and is about to award a 3rd in the coming weeks. The 3rd license is to be awarded to operate under the umbrella of Zain KSA. After being awarded an MNO license to operate in KSA with a sky rocketing fee of 6.1 billion dollars, Zain KSA started up in the Kingdom on the wrong foot.

Zain KSA targeted ethnic and bottom line of the pyramid segments for the past years of operation, launching a vicious price war; However, Zain now has the opportunity to cut down its losses, alongside gaining more market share in a very wealthy & high ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) market.

This opportunity arises if Zain offloads its mass market & ethnic segments to its MVNO. This will allow Zain KSA to focus, under its new CEO and management, on more lucrative segments & markets:

  • High end customers
  • Roaming customers (due to its footprint in the GCC & Middle East)
  • Mid End professionals
  • SME & SOHO segments
  • Tap into some of the LCA (Large Corporate Accounts) & government segments
  • Push for M2M and cloud products that are underutilized in KSA

With good subscriber base of bottom liners and very aggressive ethnic marketing strategy, Zain KSA already has the buffer to relaunch itself. Add to that, Zain’s (KSA) excellent strong mobile data capacity (4G network) throughout its coverage areas (Does not cover a lot of areas in KSA). Another good trait that Zain KSA can benefit from is its partnership with Vodafone & its GCC & Middle Eastern networks for roaming (used a lot by middle & high end Saudi customers).

Zain KSA has been absent from the enterprise market in KSA, leaving this multi-billion riyals market for the two other MNO’s: Mobily & STC. While both MNO’s are focusing more on verticals & LCA’s, little attention is given to the equally lucrative segments of SME’s & SOHO’s.

The Saudi market has not yet tapped into a big segment of its enterprise segment. The SME’s (Small & Medium Enterprise) or SMB’s (Small & Medium Business) are poorly penetrated or neglected due to the effort needed to be put into such segment. Still, it is a segment worth billions of riyals in terms of telecom revenue due to the amount of small or medium companies in KSA.

The race for M2M & cloud is starting up in Saudi Arabia and Mobily is leading the way through a newly derived division handling partnerships very actively. Zain KSA can benefit from these virgin fields and startup an early race towards dominating these fields, especially in financial & medical uses.

Zain’s (KSA) opportunity rises to rectify the strategy with the new MVNO license. Would it grab this opportunity? Time will tell!

Why Re-Invent the Wheel?!

OTTIn my previous blog regarding OTT applications & revenue, a lot of peers have messaged me agreeing, commenting, or offering their services. I read all the comments (most preferred not being published) and several were from vendors regarding MNO’s developing their own OTT applications (through their companies). This has always been a tricky dilemma for me: “Why re-invent the wheel!”

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MVNO’s in KSA With The Wrong Mix

Kingdom towerIn a country which has 3 MNO’s, over 50 million subscribers, and huge margins of profit in billions of Saudi Riyals, Saudi Arabia’s Mobile ecosystem seems to be perfect on the outside. The market is sexy, appealing, and profitable to any MNO or MVNO. The market is still underutilized in several fields of technology but not in network resources (overloaded). M2M, cloud, Mobile Financial services, & data are among these yet to be utilized efficiently in such market.

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How Direct-Carrier-Billing Will Help Lebanese Developers

MNO's Lebanon

MNO’s Lebanon

A click on your appstore or playstore to buy an item is something new to the Lebanese subscriber. No need to enter credit card details and to have to wait for the transaction to be executed. The two MNO’s in Lebanon has recently launched their new app stores which are based on Direct Carrier Billing (DCB).

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Welcome to Samer Mehaidly’s Blog!

Hello and welcome to my blog!

As a seasoned strategist, marketer, and business developer with over 12 years experience in telecom MNO’s with a strong IT & Technical background I aim to use this blog to project my thoughts, ideas and opinion within my particular sector of expertise.

I encourage all professional comments and interactions in response to my articles.

Happy Reading!