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As a wrap-up to the 16th edition of Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit, Telecom Review organized the 11th edition of its Excellence Awards ceremony to recognize outstanding global and regional companies and industry leaders and their innovative efforts and influential reputation throughout 2022.

Telecom Review, together with an independent panel of judges, continued its dedication and commitment to the ICT industry in ranking the best of the best in terms of corporate growth, technological deployment, ICT investment, corporate social responsibility (CSR) as well as individual capabilities and brand contributions.

Commenting on the success of the event, Toni Eid, Founder of Telecom Review Group and CEO of Trace Media, said, “This year, we are back together again in Dubai for two days — with a more diverse audience and insightful panel discussions. Impressively, many notable industry leaders have joined us for the first time. This two-day hybrid event of the Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit has been built on the success of many years of informative gatherings, finally culminating in this, the 16th edition. I would like to thank every partner for their support. See you again next year for another amazing edition, where once again, we’ll promise to deliver the “Best ICT Leaders’ Summit!“

Jeff Seal, Chief Awards Officer, Managing Partner and Editor-in-Chief, Telecom Review North America, said, “2022 brings out the biggest Telecom Review Excellence Awards program yet, garnering a very high interest level from the industry. We received a record-breaking number of nominations from around the world. Thus, we added more distinct awards and categorized them into global and regional scopes. The Excellence Awards continue to be the “standard” for which the industry judges its peers. The Telecom Review panel of judges are leading experts from around the world and spent a thorough deliberation in the process. Congratulations to all winners and we hope to welcome you again next year!”

Below is the full list of winners announced during the Telecom Review Excellence Awards 2022 ceremony:

Telecom Review Regional Excellence Awards

Best Middle Eastern Operator – e&

This is a brand representing the UAE telco pillar of a tech group. It has grown in the age of “connectivity renaissance,” focusing on its core and digital services by enriching consumers’ value propositions with digital services that cater to consumers’ new lifestyles and emerging demands beyond basic telecom services. As a digital telco, it has proven to be a customer champion in a hyper-connected digital world.

Best Asian Operator – China Mobile International

They have invested over HK$10 billion to build a second data center in Hong Kong. Providing over 9,000 racks, it joins other data centers across Asia to create a strong global network.

Best American Operator – Verizon

They continue to expand their networks as they invest in fiber deployments across the country and transform from legacy to next-generation solutions. Investment in the Intelligent Edge Network continues to be a focus.

Best African Operator – Ooredoo Algeria

The company’s revenues and EBITDA increased quarter on quarter while, at the same time, its footprint expanded to provide world-class services and innovative products, network speed and reliable connectivity to customers.

Best Middle Eastern Fiber Infrastructure Deployment – Bahrain Network (BNET)

Their strategic plan is supported by policies that ensure consumers have affordable, secure and robust access to ultra-high-speed fixed and mobile broadband networks, offering converged access to IP-based interactive, multimedia and rich communications service.

Best African Fiber Infrastructure Deployment – MTN GlobalConnect

They are managing and evolving the current network to support its service portfolio and build more partnerships with customers. They strategically identified seven countries, with a capital investment of US$500 million over the medium term, to build their pan-African fiber railroads.

Best Middle Eastern 5G Standalone Network – Zain KSA

Globally recognized as a pioneer with its large-scale commercial 5G rollout, they continued to earn prestigious awards as they expanded to cover 53 cities, backed by more than 5,000 towers.

Best Middle Eastern 5G User Growth – stc KSA

They launched the MENA’s first 5G commercial network in May 2018 and since then, demonstrated a variety of use cases such as immersive VR, IPTV and 4K video streaming as well as 5G private network.

Best Middle Eastern 5G Infrastructure Deployment – stc Kuwait

They launched the first 5G end-to-end standalone (SA) network in MENA, along with a convergent billing system. They successfully accomplished the widest scale of 5G coverage to boost SA connectivity performance.

Best African CSR Initiative – Ooredoo Algeria

The company’s customer experience is now completely intertwined with the use of technology and has improved access to everything it offers.

Best Asian CSR Initiative - du

They have taken a huge step to serve the community and give back to them by introducing a special calling tariff for the senior/elderly citizens who are either 60 or older or are retired.

Best Middle Eastern CSR Initiative – Zain KSA

As ICT pioneers, they were among the first to create a Diversity and Inclusion department.

Best Middle Eastern Digital Customer Experience – Ooredoo Oman

They have continued to make excellent progress with significant upgrades to network infrastructure, product offerings and the launch of a fully digital and unmatched customer experience.

Best African Cloud Provider – Orange Egypt

They have an innovative and well-performing infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solution that allows customers to manage virtual data centers (VDCs) in a multi-tenant environment.

Best Middle Eastern Cloud Provider – Zain KSA

Their products and services contribute to the goals of Vision 2030 and achieve digital transformation through a safe and secure system that protects the rights and data of all partners.

Best Middle Eastern Vendor – Huawei Middle East

They have addressed the need for collaborative efforts to overcome challenges raised by COVID-19 and created a more inclusive future for all.

Best Middle Eastern 5G Innovation (Operator) – du

They launched new products and services to provide clients with greater choices.

Best Middle Eastern 5G Innovation (Vendor) – Huawei Middle East

Their annual R&D investment accounts for 22.4% of revenue in 2021, reaching US$22.38 billion.

Best Middle Eastern Brand – Zain Group

The remarkable valuation and recognition years after launch is a testament to the investment they place in their brand. Its ongoing innovation and investment in network upgrades that result in quality mobile/data services and exceptional customer experience make it one of the most respected and recognized corporate brands in the Middle East and Africa.

Best Smart Africa Infrastructure Solution – MTN GlobalConnect

They are committed to extending and accelerating fast and affordable broadband access from the east to the west of Africa. This investment will interconnect countries through a high-speed backbone, building digital hubs and connecting landlocked countries to subsea cables.

Best Middle Eastern ICT Investment - ZainTech

They entered into an agreement to acquire a leading managed cloud provider with a presence in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Oman.

Best African ICT Investment – Global Partnership for Ethiopia

They aim to create and enhance over one million jobs in the next decade, help over three million small businesses grow, assist tens of millions of smallholder farmers to improve prices and yields, and improve inclusion across the country through increased access to connectivity, financial services, health and education.

Most Innovative Middle Eastern Product/Service – stc KSA and MYCOM OSI

The vendor and operator joined to use hyper-automation as an early blueprint to deliver immersive customer experience for global mega-events. Hyper automation involves the automation of daily network operations and the rollout of dynamic services to ensure the high performance of the 5G network. 

Best African Diversity & Inclusion Program – MTN GlobalConnect

They continue striving to be the most inclusive and prosperous African organization by creating an environment where people can show up and thrive.

Best American Diversity & Inclusion Program – Verizon

They have implemented programs across the board to implement diversity and inclusion in their organization.

Telecom Review Global Excellence Awards

Best Global Sustainable Technology – Nokia

The basic idea of liquid cooling in the base station environment is to replace air cooling fans with liquid cooling. The innovation supports ambitions to have the most energy-efficient, zero-emission 5G product portfolio in the industry.

Best Global Green Technology (Operator) – China Mobile International

Their data centers are built using efficient cooling systems and AC-direct supply power distribution architecture, which can save up to 120 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year.

Best Global Smart Infrastructure Management/Solution - Atrebo

Their TREE platform allows telcos, towercos and fibercos to optimize their infrastructure operations, saving costs and improving productivity and data quality thanks to an end-to-end, fully digitized process management.

Best Global Loyalty & Rewards Program - TIMWETECH

They turn operator clients into loyal customers and brand advocates by implementing flexible loyalty and gamification programs, supported by superior user experience and the most relevant rewards.

Best Global Digital Transformation Provider – Netcracker Technology

Their full suite of pre-integrated solutions, precise delivery and extensive expertise will enable them to sustain rapid growth, achieve improved customer experience and deliver new innovative products in the 5G era.

Best Global AI Use for Network Monetization – Reailize

They leverage blended artificial intelligence and machine learning, transformational IP, and extreme automation to ensure efficient and effective network operations for telcos and enterprises.

Best Global Cloud Provider – Amazon Web Services (AWS)

They have invested directly in the regional capabilities and continue to drive the technological advancement of the Middle East and Africa while connecting the region to other global markets and providing companies and users in the region with cloud capabilities.

Most Globally-Innovative Product/Service (Operator) – Console Connect

They have transformed from being a telecom operator into a platform-led organization through significant cultural and operational changes.

Most Globally Innovative SD-WAN Solution - APTelecom

They were involved with a global SD-WAN project’s rollout, implementation and continued operation for an African, Latin American, USA, and Asia-Pacific global telecom operator’s launch.

Best Global Satellite Operator – SES

Their next-generation MEO satellite constellation, O3b mPOWER, redefines global connectivity.

Best Global Climate Initiative - TELUS

With the end goal of establishing consistent sustainability reporting metrics across the global community of peers, they have collaborated to develop a practical yet rigorous framework to inform about the SDGs.

Best Global Fiber Infrastructure Deployment – EXA Infrastructure

They deployed 12,000 kilometers of fiber network across 32 countries. Their network connects 300 cities and offers 14 Tier 3-equivalent data centers, with subsea routes that include three transatlantic cables, one of which is the lowest latency link between Europe and North America.

Best Global 5G Infrastructure Deployment – Mavenir

Converged Packet Core (CPC) solution supports their 5G strategy — 100% containerized, cloud-native and microservices-based. To take full advantage of the 5G benefits, this full-stack packet core solution for 2–5 G can be deployed on any cloud.

Best Global Carrier Enterprise Service – China Mobile International

To provide integrated IoT solutions that are quick to market, scalable and globally deployable, they introduced an IoT PaaS platform integrating one-stop IoT services in hardware, platform and applications.

Best Global Enhanced Service Provider – ZainTech

They will pioneer the use of Elios 3 indoor drones to inspect EQUATE’s undersea water network.

Best Global Technology Deployment – ZTE

Radio Composer is an AI-based radio network orchestration solution that can considerably save resources and costs for operators through automatic and precise mapping between network resources and user requirements.

Best Global Vendor – NEC

They are the best of both worlds: high performance and quality, but radically open and innovative, with the capacity to deploy and manage full-scale networks.

Best Global DDoS Detection & Mitigation Solution - Verizon

They have a managed solution with sophisticated AI/ML detection techniques and proactive automated mitigation. Through a real-time traffic analysis with filtering and mitigation of bad traffic, it doesn't require any HW/SW to install (no CAPEX) and can be set up in less than 10 days.

Telecom Review Regional Merit Leader Awards

Africa CEO Merit Leader of the Year – Operator

Frédéric Schepens, MTN GlobalConnect

He has led one of the most dynamic organizations in Africa.

Middle East CTO Merit Leader of the Year – Operator

Abdulrahman Al-Mufadda, Zain KSA

He has led his team in implementing strategy in the deployment of a 5G network, achieving the most significant local and regional accomplishment of its kind. This has yielded the expansion of the company’s offered services, solutions and innovations.

Telecom Review Global Merit Leader Awards

Global Merit Leader CEO of the Year – Operator

Eng. Hatem Dowidar, e&

Since he took the company's helm, he has spearheaded several ground-breaking strategic programs that have propelled the company’s business growth to new heights across the 16 markets with 162 million customers where it operates. As the company transformed into a global technology and investment conglomerate, and despite the ever-changing business landscape, his astute brand stewardship has been the foundation for enhancing their brand equity. He also features on the elite List of Brand Guardians globally and is among the top 100 CEOs in the Middle East 2022 on the Forbes list.

Global Merit Leader CTO of the Year – Operator

Dr. Ibrahim Gedeon, TELUS

As the chief technology officer for a leading telecommunications company in Canada, he is responsible for innovation, technology development and their technology strategy.

Global Merit Leader CTO of the Year – Vendor

Mounir Ladki, MYCOM OSI

As a co-founder, president and CTO, he has driven and grown the company from a startup to a leading and successful global software company in telco service assurance and analytics.

Leader of the Year: Government or Non-Profit Organization

Secretary-General John Omo, African Telecommunications Union

He leads the continental body entrusted with building consensus within African countries in the development of ICT policies, systems and services and also in coordinating Africa’s participation in international ICT proceedings.

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