The telecommunication market in Middle East and North Africa is set to grow at an average of 2.9 per cent to reach $96 billion in 2018, said a report. The report by Analysys Mason , a market intelligence agency, pointed out that the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will show the strongest net growth in the telecom market, with the UAE in the lead with just over three per cent. Amid strong growth prospects and a surge in demand over the last year, Comba Telecom Systems Holdings, a global leading wireless solutions provider, has planned to include network management and maintenance services in the GCC. The company’s managed services will include network management, which ensures all network elements perform optimally with minimal service disruptions for the customer, while its maintenance services include remote monitoring, routine maintenance and downtime repair. Trained technicians can be deployed on site for physical inspection, fault rectification or firmware upgrades, which will ensure that potential faults are detected early so that equipment downtime is minimised. Eldynero Santos, general manager, said: “Companies in the Middle East are increasingly relying on managed services as the telecom industry grows rapidly, which opens up excellent opportunities for us to offer after-sales support.” “We have noticed that UAE companies are looking to invest in managed services, giving them the opportunity to focus on their core business.” Comba supplies A-Z turnkey in-building solutions to Etisalat in the UAE and Ooredoo in Qatar, which includes supply, design, installation, commissioning, integration and optimisation. Other products, such as base station antennas, repeaters, MCPA and microwave equipment, are also supplied to various operators in Kuwait, Bahrain, Libya and KSA. “We are witnessing a surge in the telecom industry in the GCC, especially as the penetration of smartphones passes 50%. We want to capitalise on this and ensure that our operators and customers are well equipped to handle the load,” added Santos.