Bahrain Conference: 23-24 Jan 2019

RAG is bringing its unique conference format to the Middle East for the first time



Batelco, the principal telecommunications company in the Kingdom of Bahrain, will be host of RAG’s January 2019 conference. They will welcome RAG to their head offices for the first RAG conference in the Middle East.

As with all RAG conferences, telcos and regulators may attend for free.

New information will be regularly added to this page, so keep returning for updates. Alternatively, you can join RAG and receive our regular e-newsletters, which tell you when new speakers are added to the conference agenda, and also share news about global developments in telecoms risk and assurance.



The agenda will cover fraud management, revenue assurance, business assurance, enterprise risk management and security. Unlike other conferences we want to avoid promising speakers until we are confident they can take part, so we share the draft of our agendas online, which is updated each time a new speaker is confirmed. The following schedule shows the latest version of the agenda, or click this link to open it in a new window. Keep reading below for more details about the panels and presentations which have been lined up.


Day One: Wednesday 23rd January

  • Mustafa Ali, Head of Business Assurance at Batelco and the host of the conference, will give a keynote presentation discussing how he and his team assure the risk faced by his operator.
  • A panel of business leaders will explore whether there is a need to change the priorities and methods used by revenue assurance teams, in order to maintain their relevance as telco business models transform. The panellists will include Shiva Sharma Kotra, Director of Revenue Assurance, Fraud Management, Credit & Collections at Ooredoo Kuwait. The moderator of the panel will be experienced risk practitioner and RAG Committee member Lee Scargall.
  • Senior enterprise risk management (ERM) executives will analyse how the role of ERM has grown in recent years and the ways they can take advantage of improvements in technology. The panellists will include Daniel Udochi, General Manager of Risk & Compliance Management at MTN Sudan, and a recent winner at the Ethics Initiative Awards. Also joining the panel will be Paul Masters, Head of Internal Audit & Risk at online retailer Ocado and formerly an executive at Etisalat and Ooredoo.
  • John Haraburda, Principal Solutions Engineer Director at iconectiv, will share his insights into the detection of fraud.
  • Various experts including John Davies of BluGem will discuss the benefits of active testing to find leaks and frauds.

Day Two: Thursday 24th January

  • Don Reinhart, CTO and COO at LATRO Services, will give a keynote presentation about security for the internet of things.
  • Award-winning consultant Geoff Ibbett will tell the audience about RAG’s Revenue and Cost Risk Catalogue, and how they can use it to identify previous undiscovered leakages and assess the benefits that would be gained by implementing new controls.
  • Alain Kazan, Head of Fraud at Zain Kuwait, will talk about how he is using a NoSQL database to collate more data than ever before, and how this data can be used to better understand subscribers, fight fraud, and power decision-making more generally.
  • A team of experienced panellists will discuss the development of new techniques in fraud management and the emergence of new kinds of fraud. Amongst the panellists will be audit director and former fraud investigator Lisa Meeks. The moderator will be Luke Taylor, a veteran of the anti-fraud industry.
  • Mohamed Jaffar, Head of RAFM at MTN Afghanistan, will give a presentation about the impact of refiling on Middle Eastern countries. He will share results from his telco’s refiling detection and mitigation project.
  • Can wholesale carriers do more to prevent fraud? That will be the question discussed by a panel including Katia Gonzalez, who is both the Head of Fraud Prevention at major international carrier BICS and the long-serving Chair of the i3Forum Fraud Group.
  • Veteran professionals will review the conference and comment on the status of the industry for our closing ‘wise heads’ panel. The moderator will be RAG Chief Exec and Commsrisk Editor Eric Priezkalns.


Conference Location

The conference will take place at the Batelco Staff Centre, alongside their headquarters. The address is: Road 1425, Al Hamala, Bahrain.

The audience will be seated in the auditorium at Batelco’s superb staff centre, which is used to provide leisure facilities for Batelco employees as well as holding meetings. The room can accommodate slightly over 100 participants, and all the indications suggest it will be filled to capacity.

Free lunch and refreshments will be served during both days of the conference, meaning attendees can focus on meeting and speaking with each other. The excellent breakout facilities alongside the auditorium means attendees might enjoy a quick game of table football during the coffee break! The staff centre will also be our venue for the complimentary networking buffet on the first evening of the conference.


Evening Entertainment

At RAG conferences we focus on high-quality presentations and panel discussions during the day, then make it easy for everyone to relax and network in the evenings. On the first evening there will be a complimentary buffet served alongside the swimming pool at the Batelco staff centre. On the second evening attendees will be welcome to join us for food and soft drinks at the Westin City Centre Hotel.


Hotel and Visa Advice

We recommend that everybody stay at Westin City Centre Bahrain, on Sheikh Khalifa Bin Salman Highway, Al Seef. RAG attendees staying at the Westin on the 22nd, 23rd or 24th January will enjoy a discounted rate of BHD45 for single rooms and BHD53 for double/twin rooms (plus service charges and taxes). These rates also include breakfast. To obtain the discount, please quote “Risk & Assurance Group Batelco January 2019” when making your reservation with the Westin. Reservations can be made by calling the reservations line on +973 1717 1111, or by email to Attendees of RAG events are responsible for booking and paying for their own accommodation.

RAG conference attendees staying at the Westin will benefit from free transportation between the hotel and conference venue in the morning and evening. The Westin will also be the location of the networking dinner on the second evening of the conference.

The location of the Westin is ideal for visitors to Bahrain. It is just a 15-minute taxi ride from the airport, and is situated alongside the most popular shopping mall in the country.

The Westin will be glad to arrange visas on behalf of those guests who require one. The charge for this service is BHD40, which covers the application fee imposed by the government. We strongly recommend attendees obtain their visa in conjunction with their hotel booking. The local advice is that the best way to obtain a visa for Bahrain is via the hotel the guest is staying with.

Here is a list of other local hotels. Any conference attendee choosing to stay at one of these hotels must make their own arrangements for transportation to Batelco’s offices.



We know that some telco managers like to see a printed brochure before they agree to approve the travel costs to attend our free conferences. This can make life difficult for RAG because our events involve lots of speakers, and new ones keep being added! However, we will add a downloadable and printable PDF brochure to this site in due course.

RAG always adds speakers right up to the week before the conference, so be sure to keep checking the agenda on this web page for the most accurate and comprehensive rundown of speakers.


Free Registration for Telcos and Regulators

Managers and staff employed by telcos or telecom regulators may participate in RAG Bahrain for free, so long as they register using the email address associated with their employer. Registrations are managed via Eventbrite; click the button below to begin. Please complete all the fields to register.

Eventbrite - RAG Bahrain - January 2019


Attendance Options for Sponsors and Invited Guests

Sponsoring businesses may send their representatives to RAG Bahrain. RAG receives ongoing support from several market-leading suppliers, but there are also opportunities to sponsor individual conferences. If your business is interested in participating in RAG Bahrain then please make your initial query through our contact form.

RAG allocates a limited number of complimentary seats for freelance consultants, subject matter experts, and other industry leaders. To maintain a balanced audience, these seats will only be made available to specific named individuals. Invitations will be emailed in due course. If you wish to be added to the guest list you should contact a member of the RAG Committee, or else ask for advice from a relevant representative of Sprint’s host team or one of the conference sponsors.

One of the most important aspects of our conferences is what we call the ‘RAG Spirit’. We want attendees to feel relaxed and have the freedom to talk openly about the challenges they face. To protect the RAG Spirit, we reserve the right to decide who may attend on a case-by-case basis.


About Our Host and Sponsors

RAG is a not-for-profit enterprise, and telcos and regulators may attend our events for free, as do many specially invited experts. That means we rely on the generosity of the businesses that host our meetings and pay for everything from our web server to the coffee we serve attendees. We would like to thank the following businesses for the contributions that have made it possible to run RAG Bahrain 2019.

The Hosts


The Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

LATRO Services

Foundation Sponsors

Neural Technologies, SIGOS, Subex, Symbox, TEOCO, WeDo Technologies

Silver Sponsors

Araxxe, iconectiv

Bronze Sponsors
BluGem, FraudBuster, Six Degrees

If you would like to host a future RAG event or if you want to learn about sponsorship opportunities then please get in touch. We will be glad to hear from you!