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KUWAIT - Telecoms & IT

Dina Al Eissa

CEO, BOnline

Bio

Dina Al Eissa holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the George Washington University with a master’s degree in business administration. She has over 20 years of experience in the telecommunications and financial sectors, specializing in performance management. She has proven experience in successful restructuring and business transformation in the telecommunications industry and is a strong believer in the importance of encouraging the younger generation, especially woman, to succeed in the innovation and ICT sector.

"BOnline (formally known as Gulfnet) was established in 1991 and was focused on delivering the latest in technology and networking solutions."
Focused on the connectivity business in the region, BOnline diversified offerings and entered the market with new products and added-value services.
What technological changes have you recently observed in the Kuwaiti market?

BOnline (formally known as Gulfnet) was established in 1991 and was focused on delivering the latest in technology and networking solutions. Our core network has evolved over the years with our latest upgrade and revamp to the network in 2019. However, the fiber infrastructure development in the country was rather slow. About 99.4% households in Kuwait have internet access at home, but 84.8% of these households use routers from mobile network providers. The majority of Kuwait still depends on DSL internet services, which represents a real challenge. We speak of digitalization and automation of Kuwait; however, we need to realize that the first pillar of achieving these goals is investing in the country’s infrastructure. Having said that, I am positive that with the government’s latest changes to the telecommunications industry and with the implementation of new Kuwait Vision 2035, we will turn around these obstacles. Technology and innovation will play a bigger part in our economy.

BOnline has joined a venture to simplify the digital business infrastructure in the region. What has been the progress of this initiative, and what are the company’s expectations following such collaboration?

Alliance network is a new venture that BOnline has invested in. The idea of an alliances network is the future of telecommunications. The first phase of this project is defined as the interconnection phase, in which all the GCC countries will be connected to function as a single region. This will bring enhanced network performance, low latency, and direct cloud connectivity to the region. The solutions provided by Alliance will elevate the standards of communication in the region. We are proud to announce that Alliance has successfully obtained its telecoms license from TRA in Bahrain and is close to establishing its network and launching its operations. I have no doubt this initiative will improve our ability to serve the GCC region and clients on a higher and bigger level.

What is BOnline’s strategy for success in the market?

When it comes to technology, to survive you have to keep evolving, adopt change quickly, and always look at the market and its needs. You also require an organizational culture that empowers creativity; only then will success be guaranteed. BOnline as an internet service provider is focused on the connectivity business though it is not limited to providing internet only. We have diversified our offerings and entered the market with new products and added-value services. We aim to ensure providing our customers with what they truly need and want. We have positioned ourself as one-stop-shop when it comes to ICT solutions. To make sure we stay in the game, we are doing all we can to be unique and better than the others. Our way of succeeding is by creating long-lasting relationships with our clients, letting them know we keep our word, and providing them with the best deal possible. It is all about trust.

What is your outlook for the technology sector in Kuwait in the coming months?

I am extremely optimistic, and things are improving now. The current leadership and vision from the government has the potential to truly improve the country’s future. There is great potential in Kuwait on an international and geopolitical level. As a location, Kuwait offers great advantages in all the GCC. We can transform Kuwait into a global internet hub for international companies and content providers. This will help the telecoms sector generate high revenues and contribute positively to the economy. On a local level, Kuwait Vision 2035 includes 13 megaprojects with a budget greater than KWD250 million per project and 56 projects with a budget of less than KWD250 million, totaling an investment of KWD23 billion in the next 13 years. This can only stimulate the economy and encourage more creativity and innovation within Kuwait.

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