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21st February 2023

IIC MENA Chapter Inaugural Event – in person

Chapter event

Date: Tuesday 21 February 2023
Time: 09:00 – 15:15

We are delighted to announce that the inaugural IIC MENA Chapter event will be kindly hosted by The Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) Qatar and will take place on Tuesday 21 February in Doha.

We are pleased to let you know His Excellency Mohammed bin Ali Al-Mannai, Minister of the MCIT and President of the CRA, will give a welcome address to open this event and the launch of the IIC’s MENA Chapter.

This one-day event will enable the opportunity for attendees to discuss some of the most challenging issues the industry is currently facing in the region.


Registration Fees for delegates

Tuesday 21 February 2023
IIC MENA Chapter Inaugural Event

IIC Members – Free
Non-Members – £67 GBP (excluding VAT*) 
*VAT will be applicable for UK registrations only

If you feel the delegate fee may be a barrier to attending this event, please contact us at

The IIC will be pleased to provide a letter of invitation on request, but visas will be the responsibility of the event attendee.


The Chapter event venue is also offering a special hotel room rate:

The St. Regis Doha
Doha West Bay
Doha 14435
Tel: +974 4446 0000
Website for more information

800 QR: Single Room
900 QR: Double Room

To book please click below:

Book your group rate for IIC MENA Chapter 2023 Qatar

Please quote the reference Code: IIC MENA CHAPTER when making your room booking to secure the special room rate.

The IIC accepts no responsibility for bookings made at any hotels which are listed and recommends that you check out the hotels on the internet before booking.

Welcome address

H.E. Mohammed bin Ali bin Mohammed Al Mannai President, Communications Regulatory Authority of Qatar (CRA), Minister of Communications and Information Technology

His Excellency Mr. Mohammed bin Ali bin Mohammed Al Mannai was appointed Minister of Communications and Information Technology in October 2021.

His Excellency the Minister of Communications and Information Technology has held several positions related to the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.

His Excellency has served as the President of Communication Regulatory Authority after being the Chief Executive Officer of the Qatar National Broadband Network Company (QNBN), as well as having served in senior positions in the telecommunications company Ooredoo Qatar, formerly known as Qtel.

His Excellency currently holds several other positions, including Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at Qatar Free Zones Authority, Member of the Board of Trustees of Qatar University, Member of the Board of Directors of the Qatari Satellite Company Es’hailSat, and a Member of the Board of Directors of Al Jazeera Media Network.

His Excellency the Minister of Communications and Information Technology received a bachelor’s degree in Physics from the American University in Cairo.

His Excellency also holds professional certificates in management and leadership from several institutions, including the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), INSEAD Business School, and the Carnegie Bosch Institute


Alexandre Serot (Dr) Head of Regulatory, Vodafone Qatar

Alexandre Serot leads the regulatory function of Vodafone Qatar. Before joining Vodafone Qatar in 2016, Alexandre was the head of public policy and regulatory affairs for Fixed Services at the Vodafone Group where he was responsible for developing the Group’s position and regulatory strategy in relation to fixed services (NGA, etc) and National Broadband Plans as well as providing support to operating companies across Vodafone. Before joining Vodafone in 2013, Mr Serot spent over ten years working for regulators and the World Bank in various parts of the world.

An economist by training and profession, Mr Serot has a PhD in Public Policy from the European University Institute of Florence.

Bharat Vagadia (Dr) Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs, Ooredoo Group

Dr Bharat Vagadia joined Ooredoo Group in 2017 as senior director regulatory affairs with oversight across the ten operations across MENA and South Asia. Prior to joining the group, he was with Ooredoo Qatar. He brings with him over twenty-five years’ experience in TMT policy, regulation and strategy and wealth of experience as a management consultant, having advised over fifty clients in over twenty-five countries, across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, including governments, regulatory authorities, multinationals, high growth start-ups, as well as investment funds. He has during his career, helped with sector liberalization, creation of licensing frameworks and the broader development of regulatory environments that foster competition and long-term consumer welfare.

Dr Vagadia is the author of four books, the latest being Digital Disruption.

Dr Vagadia holds a PhD, MBA, LLM, B-Eng, DipM. He sits on the board of Ooredoo Myanmar, is chair of GSMA AsiaPac policy group and member of the MENA policy group.

Dikmen Edgu Partner and Head of MENA Region, Axon Partners Group

Dikmen Edgu is Partner and Head of MENA region at Axon Partners Group, an international firm founded in 2006 that provides investment and advisory services in the ICT and digital space in more than 70 countries across the world.

Mr Edgu is an international strategy consultant with strong expertise in emerging technology and innovation, and has worked with Regulators, Governments and Corporates alike across Europe and Asia. He has led multiple advisory projects in a wide range of policy and regulatory issues with National Cybersecurity Agencies on strategic projects, from the assessment of national ICT infrastructure to the creation of cybersecurity policies and regulations.

Mr Edgu holds a BA in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

James Bellis Director, Telecommunications Practice, Frontier Economics

James Bellis, a Director in the Telecommunications Practice of Frontier Economics, has over 16 years’ experience advising world leading operators, regulators and policy makers across the globe. Much of his work focuses on market liberalisation, competition assessments, retail and wholesale pricing, cost accounting, spectrum pricing and policy, universal service and policies to promote high speed broadband services.

Mr Bellis leads much of Frontier’s telecommunications work outside Europe, focusing on Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean and he has managed a number of complex assignments working with other experts and client teams.

Jean Pierre Scerri (Dr) General Counsel, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), Bahrain

Dr Jean Pierre Scerri is a UK qualified lawyer originating from Malta. He has more than 20 years’ experience in technology, media, IT and telecoms sector having worked in private practice and in-house in cable, PSTN and mobile as well as for the regulator across a number of jurisdictions including the UK, Central Europe and the Middle East. He has been working in the region for more than 8 years at TRA Bahrain where he has been responsible for a number of strategically important initiatives including the legal separation of the incumbent, the National Broadband Network project, review of the Licensing Regime and the rewrite of the Telecommunications Law.

Karam Alshorbassi Assistant Director Operations & Compliance, Ooredoo Qatar

Bio coming soon ……

Lynn McDay
Lynn Robinson Director General, International Institute of Communications

Lynn Robinson became Director General of the International Institute of Communications (IIC), in March 2020.

Lynn is an experienced senior director and trustee / non exec-director, having held key senior leadership positions in the technology, built environment, regulation, accreditation and dental industries. She has extensive experience of professional membership bodies working within the full spectrum including, Regulatory bodies, Industry associations and Chambers of Commerce. Lynn is a well-known and established ambassador in these areas having led on many strategic programmes to aid engagement, growth, retention, change management, stakeholder and political engagement.

An experienced Trustee / Non-Executive Director as Vice Chair at Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust, a unique heritage site in the heart of Bristol (UK), Lynn is also a Trustee / Non-Executive Director at The Bristol and Bath (UK), Parks Foundation.

Reflecting on becoming Director General at the IIC at the outbreak of a pandemic, Lynn said, ‘these last two years have been like no other we have known, with many challenges coming our way. In 2020 we successfully pivoted the organisation through a digital transformation programme to maintain a full schedule of events and by increasing the outputs delivered. Transforming the programme enabled us to continue to deliver the professional service and increase our engagement with IIC members and stakeholder community to remain connected to them through such a difficult time.

As we move through 2022, I am delighted to return to a combined in-person and online programme and to continue to evolve the IIC in to the next phase, with the vision and strategic focus to deliver our objectives and to build on our growth, engagement and retention’.


Mohammad Abu Shawish Director, Service Operation Center (SOC), Ooredoo Qatar

Mohammad Abu Shawish joined Ooredoo Qatar in 2003, since then, having held multiple operational and management roles in Ooredoo, latest as Director Service Operation Center (SOC) since 2017.

Mohammad has extensive experience in operational transformation through leading NOC to SOC transformation during the recent years. He has also played key role in key operational processes reengineering, like, Incident Management, Change Management, Customer Problem Handling Management. In addition, he has significant contribution in Business Continuity Management through the certification process of Ooredoo and maintaining it since then. He is member of the BCMS steering committee in Ooredoo Qatar. Under his leadership SOC has created a team culture of solving customer issues together as one team and with priority. He and his team have significantly increased customer experience be driving MTTR for customer tickets down, improving tools and sharpening proactive monitoring.

As a reflection of the last 6 years as Director of SOC, Mohammad said: ‘In fast evolving technology domain, and the complexity of service operations, there was a need to become more efficient and faster, and for that reason, we have introduced SMART SOC platform, utilizing the digital transformation, Automation, and the Power of AI/ML, which helped us in faster Detection, Impact Assessment, and Action’

One of the most recent and major achievements, was leading Ooredoo Assurance team during FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022©. In which Ooredoo has successfully delivered the first 5G powered World Cup and has provided best in class customer experience for the visitors and the people of Qatar.

Mohammad holds Bachelor Degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering – 2002, PMP certified – 2011, and Master of Business Administration MBA from University of Aberdeen – 2021.

Tuesday 21 February 2023

09:00 - 09:30 Registration
09:30-09:35 Official Opening

H.E. Mohammed bin Ali bin Mohammed Al Mannai, President, Communications Regulatory Authority of Qatar (CRA), Minister of Communications and Information Technology

09:35-09:45 Introduction to IIC

Lynn Robinson, Director General, International Institute of Communications

  • An update on the role and purpose of the IIC
09:45-10:00 IIC MENA Chapter

Bharat Vagadia, Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs, Ooredoo Group

  • Purpose and vision of the newly formed regional Chapter
  • Plans for 2023 and beyond
  • Structure and Roles within the Chapter
  • Forming and the role of the MENA Chapter committee
10:00-10:45 Presentation: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Preparations, network statistics and lessons learned

Alexandre Serot, Head of Regulatory, Vodafone Qatar

Mohammad Abu Shawish, Director, Service Operation Center (SOC), Ooredoo Qatar





10:45-11:15 Break
11:15-12:00 Panel: Regional regulators objectives and priorities for 2023


James Bellis, Director, Telecommunications Practice, Frontier Economics


Jean Pierre Scerri, General Counsel, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), Bahrain

  • What are the objectives and priorities for 2023? What does success look like? How can industry work together with regulators with respect to achieving these goals?
12:00-12:45 Panel: WRC23 preparations


Karam Alshorbassi, Assistant Director Operations & Compliance, Ooredoo Qatar

WRC-23 takes place from 20 November to 15 December 2023 in Dubai with the following Agenda Items relevant for IMT (International Mobile Telecommunications):

  • 1.1 – IMT in the band 4 800-4 990 MHz;
  • 1.2 – IMT in a number of bands including in the 3.5 GHz and 6 GHz ranges;
  • 1.3 – Mobile Allocation in 3 600-3 800 MHz in Region 1; and
  • 1.5 – Consideration of sub-1 GHz spectrum in Region 1.

What are the panelists views on the spectrum bands up for allocation within the IMT agenda items? Have positions on these Agenda items been adopted? If not decided, what are the elements still under consideration?

12:45-13:45 Lunch
13:45-14:30 Panel: Enhancing national resilience through investment in international connectivity


Dikmen Edgu, Partner and Head of MENA Region, Axon Partners Group

  • The importance of international connectivity in the communications ecosystem
  • How investment and competition in the provision of international connectivity infrastructure in the Middle East and North Africa can be encouraged
  • The role of non-telcos (i.e., companies other than national telecoms operators) in the international connectivity value chain
  • How pricing of international connectivity to / from / within the MENA region can become more aligned with pricing elsewhere
14:30-15:00 Presentation: Digital Transformation and Data: Smart data governance
15:00-15:15 Presentation: Plans for ITU PP-26
15:15 Wrap Up and Next Steps

Bharat Vagadia, Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs, Ooredoo Group

Download the agenda (PDF)
Event details
21st February 2023
Doha, Qatar
Middle East & Africa
Middle East & North Africa
Login to register your place
The St. Regis Doha
Doha West Bay
Doha 14435

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