Changing patterns

Rabih Dabboussi, discusses the latest trends in the Middle East's operator segment
Cloud computing

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CommsMEA: What are the main trends that you see in the Middle East at the moment?

There are a few major trends taking place globally but they are also translated locally as well, especially in the Gulf, because the rest of the Middle East is slightly behind in technology adoption and proliferation. The trends are three-tiered. The first is that there is a big refresh in big networks, and these are the government networks, the service provider networks, basically the communication infrastructure of the countries. In a lot of places in the Middle East it is driven by the big service providers of the countries but also the governments in certain countries, especially the GCC, are taking huge strides in that area.

CommsMEA: Is video usage a key driver?

A major trend that is taking place is around video. If you speak to some of the service providers in this region and ask them about how much of their network traffic is in the form of video, they will tell you it is anywhere between 50-70% depending on which one you talk to, and I speak to a lot of them. A lot of that video is in the form of entertainment, basically access to Youtube. A smaller proportion of it is becoming more interactive and collaborative video, such as enterprise video conferencing. So the trend is to adopt and leverage video technologies in the office, mobile devices, anywhere you are. That translates into complexities in the network and the data centre as well.

CommsMEA: How about trends in the GCC more specifically? Is it ahead of the rest of the ME?

The vision of some of the countries in the GCC countries (Gulf Cooperation Council) is phenomenal because they consider the IT and communication infrastructure as key to the development. This refresh is taking place around the adoption of fibre optics and technologies that leverage fibre optics to the best of its capabilities from a bandwidth perspective. On top of that the access technologies that go with it from either Gigabit-to-the-home or LTE when it comes to mobile, which enables you to harness the power of bandwidth.

CommsMEA: Is cloud becoming more centralised?

The third key trend that is taking place is around the paradigm in the model that is being adopted around how to consume technology services data and that is moving more and more towards a centralised environment. We call it cloud computing but you can call it anything you want because it has been around for many years. It is just the fact that the mass adoption of it has changed. There is a huge scale behind running towards network based services, centralised environments. That gives you two things, it gives you the scale and the economies of scale. The technology allows you to do that because it is lower cost now.

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