The Global Voice of Mobile Entertainment

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Inaugural ‘MEF Connects Qatar’ event brings together regional ecosystem and provides industry insight on local App Store markets  

16 December 2010, Doha/London – Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF), the global trade body of the mobile media industry, held its first regional gathering yesterday evening in Doha. ‘MEF Connects Qatar’ was attended by industry executives from across the region and provided a forum to reveal MEF’s plans for accelerating the VAS industry in the Middle East.  

The proposed roadmap, in collaboration with local partners, will provide the following:
- regional analytics to measure actual and potential growth
- trade development activities to drive exchange of information and commerce
- business-focused initiatives to present best practice across the region.  

As a first step towards more regional data, a bespoke report on the popularity and pricing of App Store applications in key Middle East markets compared to the United States, was made available to attendees in Arabic. The data, collated and analysed by MEF member Distimo, reveals a marked difference in the popularity of games applications: 56% of the most popular apps in the US are games compared to only 29% in the Middle East.  

Speakers at the event included: Suhail Bhat, MEF Director of Policy & Initiatives; Rick Seney, COO of Qtel Group; Dr Adnan, QUWIC Executive Director; and Dr Lucio Rispo, Strategic Research Director at QSTP.  

Earlier this year, a MEF Middle East office, co-founded with the Qtel Group, was launched at the Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), as part of the Group’s vision to create the first mobile innovation hub concept for the MENA region. The innovation hub plays a major role in facilitating the establishment of a mobile ecosystem in the region, including the development of new mobile applications and solutions and harnessing the creation of localized mobile applications and content.

Dr Adnan Abu-Dayya, Executive Director of QUWIC, said “As a leading regional platform for utilizing emerging wireless technologies in creating smart mobile solutions and applications targeting the region, QUWIC is excited to collaborate with MEF to promote and influence the development of innovative applications especially in relation to locally relevant mobile content and services.”

Rimma Perelmuter, MEF Executive Director, added: “The inaugural MEF Connects Qatar event provided an essential gathering for galvanising the community and gaining vital feedback from our members and partners on MEF’s roadmap for the Middle East. MEF’s Middle East office will create an influential community and vital platform for sharing knowledge across our global membership to foster mobile innovation and accelerate growth for one of the world’s fastest growing mobile VAS markets.”

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About The Qtel Group
The Qtel Group is a diversified telecommunications group with a presence in 17 countries, providing voice and data services to people and businesses, and bringing advanced technology to more than 60 million customers. We are committed to expansion in the MENA region, where we are the largest telecommunications company by number of operations, and South East Asia. Our vision is to be among the top 20 telecommunications providers in the world by 2020. 

QUWIC is an applied research and development center founded in Qatar by Qatar University in collaboration with and at the Qatar Science & Technology Park to leverage the use of emerging wireless technologies in creating solutions and smart applications for use in a number of markets including Transportation, Utilities, Healthcare, and Environment. QUWIC was founded with the objective of filling the existing gap in the region for institutions focusing on applied research and solutions delivery. QUWIC has strategic objectives in the areas of local capacity building, innovation leadership, and in becoming a virtual R&D center for local and regional partner.

About Distimo
Distimo is an innovative app store analytics company built to solve the challenges created by a widely fragmented app store marketplace filled with equally fragmented information and statistics. Distimo Report provides in-depth reports for companies interested in the mobile application ecosystem providing valuable insight into important trends happening within application stores. Custom reports are currently available for the Apple App Store, BlackBerry App World, Google Android Market, Nokia Ovi Store, Palm App Catalog and Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Distimo Monitor offers mobile developers a free analytics tool to monitor their own and competitive applications across multiple global app stores including comprehensive data analysis and data exports - without any adjustments needed to their application’s code. Distimo Monitor currently supports Apple App Store, Google Android Market, BlackBerry App World and Nokia Ovi Store. Distimo is a privately held company based in Utrecht, The Netherlands. 

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