The telecommunications sector in Iraq is widely considered to be a reconstruction success and a foundation of national stability. Today, a variety of services are available to every Iraqi citizen. More than 10 million Iraqis have access to mobile phone services. Internet access provided by small private entrepreneurs is available throughout the country. Fixed wireless voice and data services by larger private operating companies are available in the larger cities.
The basic telecommunications infrastructure is still being repaired and rebuilt. Buried fiber optic infrastructure is being slowly but steadily extended throughout Iraq. Long-term plans for long-haul infrastructure envision a redundant series of large interconnected metropolitan ring networks covering the seven largest population centers in Iraq. These are being overlaid with three donor-funded microwave networks from the Turkish border to Basra and the Kuwaiti border in the south. Core infrastructure investment throughout Iraq remains uneven and focused in major cities.
Much progress has been made, but much work remains to be done in the development of Iraq’s telecommunications infrastructure and service offers. In addition, it is too early to know if Iraq’s progress in telecommunications will continue without coalition security as a safety net. But in late 2009, the foundation is in place for a modern telecommunications infrastructure that within five years, at current levels of progress, can be equal to many countries in the Middle East and Central Asia.
This webinar will discuss the many opportunities and challenges in the telecommunications market in Iraq.
RGI Ltd. was founded in 1993 by Bob Fonow, an operations turnaround specialist, general manager and cross-cultural management consultant to corporations and governments worldwide. Current activities include directing the operations of a new RGI subsidiary in Beijing, advising Swiss based Trivon AG on issues concerning a joint venture in Russia with Britain's Virgin Group, and consulting on business planning, marketing and sales for the first private data center in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
From 2006 - 2008 Bob Fonow served as the U.S. State Department Senior IT and Telecommunications Advisor to the government of Iraq, advising the Minister of Communications, Chairman of the Communications and Media Commission (national regulator), and National Chief Information Officer (CIO) Committee on reconstruction, operations, human capacity building and regulatory legislation.
As an executive troubleshooter, Bob Fonow has conducted successful turnarounds as president, Sprint Japan; general manager, Scientific Atlanta Shanghai: president of SFA DataComm in the United States, managing director operations, Red Cube in Zurich; and as the General Sales Manager for an ITT division in London and Europe.
In addition, Mr. Fonow has managed projects or consults with companies such as British Telecom International, RAND Corporation, Sprint International, INFONET, Korea Telecom and DACOM Korea and telecom services companies in the Middle East. He negotiates worldwide with PTTs, private operators,government agencies, law firms, bankers and investors on regulatory, operations and partnership issues. He has been a business advisor to the United States Department of State on Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and is a periodic Adjunct Research Fellow at the National Defense University, Center for Technology and National Security Policy consulting on the geopolitics and international relations of the Internet and telecommunications industry.
Mr. Fonow was educated at The London School of Economics (LSE) and the University of Wales. Prior to entering university, Fonow served in the United States Air Force in Japan, Italy and England.
Mr. Fonow speaks on cross-cultural strategy, operations turnarounds and problem solving at business seminars, universities and government institutions around the world. He has published several monographs and numerous articles on international telecommunications and management troubleshooting which are available from a Google search of Bob Fonow and Robert Fonow.