Special Keynote Panel at TM Forum

TM Forum announced it is to address the growing concerns of companies from across the communications value chain about the impact of the current global financial crisis on service providers, in a special keynote panel debate on November 18, 2008 at TM Forum's Management World Orlando conference.

The economic forecast from around the world is generally grim, as we enter the start of what many see as a deep recession. However, early 3rd quarter financial results indicate that service providers appear to be weathering the storm; research firm Gartner expects telecom and IT spending to continue to be strong for at least the next three years and The analyst firm also sees 2008 spending in to increase eight percent to $3.4 trillion.

The panel, which will take place alongside keynote addresses from industry luminaries representing Rogers Communications, Credit Suisse, Divvio and Tata Communications, will specifically address how the current economic conditions being experienced by the world's financial markets are affecting communications service providers. Global industry-leading panelists are to include Dr Hossein Eslambolchi, co-founder of Divvio and former CTO & CIO of AT&T; Zenas Hutcheson, Senior Managing Director, Vesbridge Partners; and Keith Willetts, Founder and Chairman of TM Forum.

The panel, chaired by Rob Rich, Managing Director of TM Forum's Insights Research Group, will discuss timely issues including whether operators should put a freeze on spending or continue their investments and roll out new services; what providers should do to weather the economic slowdown; and how they can improve their position during trying times. The session will also explore how service providers can work their way out of the downturn and how to leverage services that are considered to be "recession-proof."

Martin Creaner, president of TM Forum commented, "This panel forms a key part of the agenda for Management World Orlando. The current concerns in the market are a far cry from the past three or four years, where we had an industry that was increasingly interested in finding the battleground of the future. I believe the industry is well positioned to weather the current situation because it has a solid infrastructure in place, but attention to detail in the rationalization of existing services and the launch of new ones is going to be critical to success."

TM Forum's special keynote panel will provide the platform to hear respected voices from the industry discuss this extremely timely topic that is top of mind for service providers, suppliers, content providers and all players along today's digital value chain.

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