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Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, predicts that the expansion of 4G LTE telecom services within the Middle East will be largely driven by operators’ ability to open up network functionality to third parties, who can in turn develop applications that run across the region’s expanding mobile ecosystem.
Such topics are a core focus of this week’s LTE MENA 2013 conference being hosted in Dubai, UAE, where Huawei is joining over 600 leaders from the ICT sector to examine both the hurdles and opportunities facing operators today in deploying LTE mobile networks. As the region's only dedicated LTE event, Huawei is the Diamond Sponsor of this year's forum with representatives from over 30 countries across the Middle East & Africa expected to attend.
“Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks have become widely accepted by most regional operators as the future of mobile broadband due to its unparalleled capacity and connectivity speeds,” notes Mr. Mark Nixon, Director of Global Business Consulting at Huawei. “At the same time, service providers are still facing obstacles in the transformation of their legacy services and marketing LTE offerings to the public as a future revenue driver. This is particularly noteworthy within the Middle East where mobile operators have shortened their go-to-market roadmaps as service innovation has become faster and more competitive.”
On the opening day of this year’s forum, Mr. Nixon gave a keynote address on how LTE can be a catalyst for new cross-industry collaboration as operators adapt to a digital society where mobile citizens’ behavior is pressuring a transformation of legacy communication and media channels.
Huawei is further showcasing how platforms like its innovative SoftMobile solution can now provide operators with a common hardware structure for supporting different mobile standards and applications in the LTE era. Huawei believes that emerging solutions like SoftMobile provide the means for operators to double their revenue by 2020, expanding the global mobile market revenue to $2 trillion—more than double the total market in 2012.
“It is largely understood that LTE will shape the future of mobile communications as it provides access anywhere and on any device – a pervasive and ubiquitous network,” adds Mr. Muhammad Atif Jamil, Huawei Senior Wireless Solutions Manager. “Through Huawei’s innovative SoftMobile solution, we believe 2013 is a year in which LTE mobile broadband offerings will come into a wider ‘single’ structure. This will be essential for operators to have networks powered by fast, focused and on-demand capabilities, lending to the creation of services that go far beyond what we see today.”
In addition to telecom network solutions, Huawei is spotlighting at the summit its latest range of LTE-compatible consumer devices including smartphones, tablets and Wi-Fi routers. The shortage of such devices in the Middle East had previously been seen by experts as one of the factors behind the relatively slow uptake of LTE services.
Informa Telecoms and Media has forecasted that the number of LTE subscriptions in the Middle East will increase to 15 million by the end of 2016, with analysts Frost & Sullivan estimating that LTE revenues in the UAE and Saudi Arabia alone will reach $4.55 billion and $3.38 billion respectively by 2017.
From the start Huawei has featured prominently when it comes to LTE partnerships in the Middle East. The company worked with top operators to deploy the region's first ever LTE commercial networks in Saudi Arabia and UAE, and has already linked with additional operators in Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain on other LTE-related projects.
With a global business footprint on six continents, Huawei has deployed 73 commercial LTE networks as of end of 2012.-00