Media convergence issues in egypt and the region and prospects for the future
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Media convergence issues in EGYPT and the region and prospects for the future. Introduction. Egypt possesses a number of comparative advantages which positively positions it as a promising market for ICT and Media convergence: infrastructure talented ICT professionals

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Introduction l.jpg
Introduction prospects for the future

  • Egypt possesses a number of comparative advantages which positively positions it as a promising market for ICT and Media convergence:

  • infrastructure

  • talented ICT professionals

  • efficient service providers

  • empowering regulatory framework.

  • Content is a key word in the convergence game.

  • Egypt has always been, and continues to be, the leading source of culture and entertainment in the Arab world.

  • Egypt could become an exporter of content to the Arab world; consequently economies of scale could be achieved.

Characteristics of 21 st century economies l.jpg
Characteristics of 21 prospects for the futurest Century Economies

  • Driven by the services sectors

  • Founded on information/communication networks – next generation Internet

  • Dependent on effective reforms in the telecom sector – information infrastructure

  • Strengthening links among local, national, regional, internatonal networks and markets

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Stages of Telecom/Information Sector Reform prospects for the future

  • Telecom Liberalization (Participation, Univ. Access)

  • Expanding Network Capacity (Broadband)

  • Preparing the Network Foundation for New Services

  • Developing New Services - “killer applications!”

  • Applying Services Productively in Different Sectors

  • Telecom Reform & Regulation – Key Driver for Implementing Policy Reforms for the e-economy

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Technologies prospects for the future






Criteria for Economic Growth

Policy & Regulation: Catalyst for, or Constraint upon Growth?

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A Review of Technological Change prospects for the future

  • Transmission, Switching and Memory: laser and spectrum, microprocessor, digital storage

  • Impacts on network architectures: less switching, more transport, caching nearer the user

  • Impacts on Functionality: portability, functional integration, communicability

  • Erosion of natural monopoly

  • End user empowerment

  • Erosion of Intellectual Property Protection

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Change in Technology brings change in Economics prospects for the future

  • Falling cost levels

  • Changes in Relative Costs: Switching, Transmission, Storage

  • Spectrum Abundance replaces Spectrum Scarcity

  • Signal transport is free at the margin

  • Content becomes relatively scarce; network capacity becomes relatively abundant

  • Intellectual Property protection eroded

  • Mass markets become fragmented

  • Competition replaces monopoly

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Change in Economics brings change in Markets prospects for the future

  • Sole providers yield to competition

  • Mass markets yield to segmentation

  • Features and functions more important than price

  • Cost of churn increases focus on retention

  • Customer service becomes competitive differentiator

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Markets prospects for the future




The Dimension of Convergence

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Convergence at a Glance prospects for the future

  • So what is convergence?

  • In a nutshell, it is the ability to provide a range of services (voice, data, and broadcasting) over a single network (‘triple play’).

  • Examples:

  • Voice over IP, which makes very low and flat rate calling plans possible.

  • Television over IP, which provides much more flexible access

  • Radio over IP, which enable users to listen in real time or on demand

  • Convergence is being applied to many fields; commerce, education, health, publishing, and manufacturing, etc.

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Convergence at a Glance (cont.) prospects for the future

  • It has changed many aspects of our everyday life: the way we communicate, the way we access content and entertainment, the way we make our purchases, even our own mobility.

  • A phone is no longer used for merely exchanging conversations, but also for watching movies, listening to MP3s or even watching and listening to the finals of the World Cup, live.

  • The NTRA has been active in convergence:

  • Cooperation between MCIT and RTU (Radio and Television Union)

  • VoIP

  • BGAN

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Finance/ prospects for the futureBanking

Regional Development

Disaster Management

Media & Cultural Sectors


Travel & Tourism



Government Services










(Instant & Delayed)






Electronic Services

(Pay TV, VAS, Internet)

Multimedia, etc.

(Public, User group, Private)


Facilities Network

(Information Superhighway)

Computing / Information



Equipment Manufacturing


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Steps Toward ICT Convergence prospects for the future

  • Digitalization of the network

  • Mobility

  • Next Generation Internet (Broadband)

  • Media integration (Internet Protocol)

  • E-commerce (QoS)

  • Restructuring of industries

  • Reshaping Policy and Regulation

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The ‘Converged’ Telecom Scene prospects for the future

  • Since its introduction, convergence has had a profound impact on the telecommuncation field and media sector, dramatically changing its infrastructure, services and overall environment.

  • Infrastructure:

    - digitalized

  • Competition:

    • diversity of service providers and offers

    • low and affordable prices

    • wide range of complementary services

  • Innovation:

    • new services

    • new business models

    • new devices

    • content creation industry to support demand

    • local loop unbundling

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The ‘Converged’ Telecom Scene (cont.) prospects for the future

  • Examples:

  • Gradual shift to VoIP and VOB (Voice over Broadband); now almost 15% of voice traffic is through VoIP.

  • CATV (cable TV) systems are now offering video on demand, broadband access and voice telephony. Consequently, CATV operators are now competing with telecom operators.

  • The current trend in several parts of the world is for service providers to offer triple play service bundles in inclusive packages (ex. monthly)

  • There is a steady growth in 3G networks and wireless broadband services

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Regulatory convergence ? prospects for the future

  • Signatories of the GATS Agreement and the Reference Paper have agreed to a more-or-less common policy of liberalization of traditional wireline and wireless telecom.

  • The GATS agreement has no recognition of convergence.

  • Most countries have separate regulators for telecommunications, broadcasting and cable TV, financial services, software and applications

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The Impact of Convergence on Regulation prospects for the future

  • Convergence is reshaping regulation and policy and raising several implications:

  • Convergence is leading to a rise in the number of wireless services, which in turn raises the need for spectrum management reform.

  • Convergence entails revisiting current licensing regimes and favors regimes that are technologically neutral.

  • Convergence might lead to the broadening of certain market definitions, with the result that several narrowly defined markets are replaced by a single more broadly defined market.

  • Convergence may pose a threat on the industry if it induces mergers of large scale operators and drives out small local operators.

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The Impact of Convergence on Regulation (cont.) prospects for the future

  • Access to communication channels and access to content

  • New issues of competition and monopoly

  • Privacy, security, IPR

  • A transition from monopoly/oligopoly direction to maximizing participation via open access

  • Target is not technological neutrality, but maximum development of all technology & services advantages

  • Maximum opportunities for competing firms to achieve public interest goals

  • Maximum stimulation to market development through both private and public participation

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“Convergence” is really about “Competition” prospects for the future

  • Voice over IP: bypassing the PSTN undermines tariffs, international settlements structures; cross-subsidies.

  • Mobile networks are competing with fixed networks especially in developing countries.

  • Cable-HFC and Satellite are displacing Broadcast networks.

  • Competing technologies (Fixed lines, Wireless, Cable, Broadcast) offer overlaping, competing services.

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Unresolved Network Market Issues prospects for the future

  • Public Resource Infrastructures for Telecom Networks - Rights of Way, Spectrum, Numbers, Names

  • Interconnection

  • Termination Number Monopolies

  • Access Limitations in the Face of Positive Externalities

  • Leverage Opportunities for Monopoly Nodes in the Network

  • Achieving Faster Infrastructure Network Development

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Significance of Network Unbundling for Convergence prospects for the future

  • Industry Sectors - Equipment, Operator Networks, Services

  • Fixed and Mobile

  • Basic Network Layers

  • *Content *Communication Services *Network Protocols, OSS & Management *Equipment & Facility Capability

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How Must Regulation Change? prospects for the futureInvestment, Investment, Investment

  • Regulation is too focused on short term abuse of dominance. More of a problem in developed markets, but stifles investment in developing markets.

  • In the long term, dominance will only be eliminated by the emergence of competing networks.

  • Competition requires investment.

  • Investment responds to Price, Cost and Profit expectations.

  • Price, Cost and Profit signals come from regulatory policy.

  • Incorrect signals encourage both overinvestment (i.e. long distance) and underinvestment (i.e. local networks).

  • Overinvestment causes lost capital (ask Global Crossing, Level 3); underinvestment causes lost opportunities (ask the 95% of the world who have no telephone.)

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The Convergence Roadmap prospects for the future

For any country to successfully integrate convergence into its communication and media sector, it must develop the following convergence pillars:

  • Technical:

    1) Digitalized Infrastructure ( Broadband , Wireless and mobile technologies , High-speed backbone networks )

    2) Digitalized Media Content ( DRM , DAM )

  • Regulatory:

    - Conducive Market Conditions (supply, demand, competition)

    - Technological Neutrality

    - Intellectual Property Rights and GATS agreement

  • Business: ( Encourage investment , More service providers , Diverse services; options , and Digital content creators )

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Convergence Challenges prospects for the future

  • Political and Legal

    • Law restrictions

    • National security considerations

    • Politically acceptable

  • Business

    • Must find feasible business models:

    • Revenue: from customers and advertisers

    • Evidence of demand is still very unclear

    • Which firms have the expertise to make profits in these areas? (telecom co. vs. content providers)

  • Social

    • Socially acceptable content

    • Literacy (traditional and ICT literacy)

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Convergence Challenges (cont.) prospects for the future

  • Economy

    • Income levels:

      low GDP per capita

      misdistributions of wealth within countries

    • Spending capacity:

      Are people willing to spend on entertainment? And if so, how much?

  • Infrastructure

    • which networks are best and cheapest?

    • availability of electricity

    • availability of computers

    • availability of telecommunications networks

    • availability of investment

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Issues for Debate prospects for the future

  • Convergence is raising a wide array of regulatory and legislative issues that should be addressed by both policy makers and regulators

  • The need to :

    - encourage investment

    - lower market entry barriers

  • Policy should:

    • ensure competitive markets

    • encourage the provision of better and cheaper services

      - be responsive to market changes; updated upon need

  • Need to avoid regulatory arbitrage and gamesmanship

  • Reducing the digital divide: Universal Service

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Issues for Debate (cont.) prospects for the future

  • Is the trend of institutional convergence (the example of Ofcom) really the best way to address Convergence?

  • Are current telecom or ICT regulators competent to regulate “content”?

  • Can content regulation be avoided?

  • What is the most effective role for national telecom regulators?

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Thank You prospects for the future