22 Mar 2012

Inspiring EurasiaCom event addresses challenges and opportunities in the new communications ecosystem

The 8th annual EurasiaCom conference and exhibition took place this week in Istanbul and showed a shift in the debates which were traditionally focused on telcos's strategies and infrastructure developments.
As participants from the region's communcations sector gathered to debate the challenges and opportunities for all stakeholders in the new digital ecosystem, the main message of the conference was one of major change in the market: with the growth of new players such as OTT and content providers, operators need to adapt to sustain growth and to maintain the relation with their customers.
Keynote speakers Cengiz Oztelcan (Director of International Operations at Turk Telekom) and Ekrem Yener (Chief International Expansion Officer at Turkcell) both insisted on the need for new business models for operators. Mr Oztelcan said his company was creating a horizontal model rather than a vertically-integrated one, covering a wide ecosystem; Mr Yener said he didn't see his company as a telecoms operator but as a technology company, and that it may change to becoming a service company. Other operators - such as MTS, Avea, Kyivstar, Antenna Hungary, Makedonski Telekom, and more - agreed that they need to innovate and to build new partnerships in order to answer customers' changing needs.
Non-operator brands were also present to give their perspectives on the market, and they raised some challenging thoughts. Salih Ozka of Nokia gave his vision of a market where "in a few years' time the top 3 global operators will be Apple, Google and Microsoft; the traditional telcos will have to adapt now if they want to stay in the game".
The event also provided many networking opportunities - the exhibition was buzzing with people continuing the debates and meeting new contacts and potential suppliers. For the first time at EurasiaCom a Speed Networking session allowed sponsors to make face-to-face contacts with senior operators. Participants also enjoyed more informal networking time at the end of the day at the Drinks Reception sponsored by Comptel.
EurasiaCom was sponsored by HP, Commscope, Comptel, Comviva and Jinny Software. It will take place again in Istanbul in 2013 on 19-20 March.