NetNumber: The Middle East and Africa is home to some of the world’s most innovative operators

Published: 2 June 2020 - 8:27 a.m.

The Middle East and Africa region is home to some of the world’s most innovative and ambitious telecoms operators and will be at the front of the queue when it comes to cutting edge network security technology, according to industry experts from NetNumber.

“The Middle East and Africa region is extremely strategic and important to NetNumber. It is an area that has some of the world’s most innovative operators who are at the forefront of technology innovations that improve and protect their business operations as well as providing reliable, safe and secure communication services to their subscribers,” said Hassan Abu-Lughod regional head for MEA at NetNumber.

Operators in the region, particularly those in the GCC nations, have been among the first in the world to roll out next generation 5G mobile infrastructure.

Last year the GSMA singled out GCC operators to lead on 5G development, as telcos look to take their fledgling 5G networks to the next level.

“Backed by proactive government support, mobile operators, particularly in the GCC Arab States, have been quick to establish the foundations for global leadership in the deployment of 5G technology, moving rapidly from trials to early commercialisation,” said John Giusti, chief regulatory officer at the GSMA.

“While we are encouraged by their progress to date, it is imperative that the region’s governments create a regulatory environment that allows 5G to flourish, including releasing sufficient spectrum, so that businesses and citizens can fully enjoy the innovative new services that 5G will deliver, as well as the resulting socio-economic benefits.”

The GSMA claims that by 2025, 5G will account for 16 per cent of the total connections in the GCC.

Across the wider Middle East and Africa region, telcos are taking the lead on network security for 4G networks too, as well as legacy 2G and 3G services. With operators scrambling to add capacity to their mobile communication networks in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic, they will need to continue to lead on security.

“While all operators have some level of security in place to protect their networks, hackers can always find ways to penetrate these security measures and steal sensitive and personal customer information. What operators need is a complete and comprehensive set of security solutions to secure and protect their networks and their subscriber information. Some of the capabilities needed range from simple whitelist / blacklist data sets for dynamic call filtering of nuisance and scam/fraud calls to new revenue-generating services that enable users to customise call blocking. Any solution needs to supports a wide range of signaling protocols supported in including SIP, CAMEL, INAP, AIN, ISUP, ENUM, HTTP/REST and CNAM. In addition they will need to support STIR/SHAKEN in all its variants,” said Abu-Lughod.

NetNumber has built strong relationships with operators and service providers in the region. For over 20 years, the company has helped telcos around stay one step ahead of the cyber criminals who would bring our digital lives crashing to a halt. The company is now growing its presence here in the Middle East and Africa region.

The current situation with the Covid 19 pandemic, means that cyber criminals are looking to exploit a range of scenarios to circumvent security controls. The company’s multi-protocol signaling firewall, fraud-detection and robocalling solutions help telcos secure their networks against current and emerging threats.

“If we look at the total investment of time and effort in the region to date, we are most proud of earning the trust of over 15 of the region’s most prestigious and innovative operators. In just a short period of time, less than 5 years, we have become a trusted adviser and valued business partner of these operators. It is a position we value, appreciate, and one that we will continue to work to maintain and grow,” said Abu-Lughod.

On the 10th of June, NetNumber will join forces with CommsMEA to host a free to attend webinar on network security for telcos.

Entitled “Why next generation connectivity demands cutting edge security”, the webinar will call on a range of industry experts from the region, and will air at 12 noon on Wednesday the 10th June 2020. Don’t miss your opportunity to be part of the discussion. .

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