Global body aims to boost Arabic mobile content

The National Dec 29, 2010

Boosting the amount of Arabic content on handheld devices is the goal of a global mobile media trade association which wants to foster greater development between telecommunications operators and advertisers.

After opening a regional office in Doha three months ago, the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) held its inaugural event this month where it showcased a number of initiatives it plans on developing such as improving the level of mobile commerce in the Middle East.

The not-for-profit trade association counts more than 160 members from around the world but only has a handful of regional partners including Qtel, Etisalat, du and Info2Cell.

Over the next year, however, MEF is looking to boost its regional membership and is working on releasing a set of guidelines it hopes will make it easier for advertisers to develop promotions with telecoms operators, said George Daaboul, the Middle Eastern manager of member relations and marketing at the MEF.

“What we do is we bring companies together, they speak about their cases and their experience in the field and we write these guides that help drive the industry forward,” Mr Daaboul said.

Mr Daaboul said it is often difficult for companies in the telecoms sector to sit down and agree on a set of standards given the amount of politics involved.

The association has recently facilitated in a landmark agreement in Brazil between the country’s telecoms regulator and mobile operators that set regulations over how applications can be offered to consumers.

“If we come and be the moderators of such a group, we can lead the industry by bringing the players together and working on a set of solutions that everyone can agree on,” Mr Daaboul said.


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