Middle East Open for Business

Published July 1st, 2010 - 08:39 GMT

France Telecom have recently announced its plans to acquire five telecom deals in North Africa and the Middle East and are hoping to complete some of these by the end of the summer.  This revelation has led to the meeting of the leading names in telecoms at the NGT MENA summit.

France Telecom is set to spend as much $8.6 billion on MENA deals over the next 5 years as part of a ‘double revenue’ strategy to capitalize on emerging markets.  This plan comes as a direct result of slowing revenue growth within European markets.  Across the MENA region telecoms infrastructures are expanding and modernizing, greater liberalization and competition are positively impacting on the market.  The NGT MENA committee (hosted by GDS International) is investing time to identify the critical roles of telecommunications in the economic development of the region.  More technologically diverse services are becoming available to both businesses and consumers alike.  Internet usage is on the rise and money spent in the right place now will pay dividends. 

Key to discussions will be investment into IP based infrastructure to replace the traditional telephone systems, LTE / SAE will play a vital role in developing this further and for unifying service delivery in an all IP environment. But that won't happen overnight and  Vodafone Qatar - Grahame Maher, CEO, Du - Osman Sultan, CEO, Etisalat - Azhar Zia-ur-Rehman, Group Director IT Governance, MTN Afghanistan - George Nassif, CIO are only to aware of this.  The NGT MENA committee needs to plan and phase in their approach to unified, converged network architecture whilst preserving their investments in existing technologies and service levels. 

“A seamless broadband future will require a seamless approach to networking architectures, eradicating complex silo oriented approaches and adopting a far more consistent approach. It is clear that an all IP/MPLS environment will be the ultimate answer, but how and where should wire line and mobile service providers begin to make that journey?” NGU Mena Committee representatives

Emerging markets last year accounted for about 3.3 billion Euros of sales at France Telecom alone and the rest of Europe now appears to have spotted the opportunity, if the right infrastructure is in place than it appears the Middle East will have a bright future ahead.

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