Fibre penetration increases in MENA

UAE has penetration rate amongst highest globally.
Fibre network, MENA


The fibre-to-the-home/building (FTTH/B) average take up rate in the MENA region has reached 43%, while UAE leads the market at 75%, according to the latest FTTH MENA Panorama study.

The global fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) market reached 181.7 Million subscribers by June 2015, according to the FTTH Council Global Alliance (FCGA) global studies.

At the same time, subscribers in the MENA region have reached 2.1 million, an increase of 20% from the previous year, while the number of homes passed by FTTH/B was more than 5 Million, an increase of 28% from the previous year.

“We are very enthusiastic about the growth in FTTH/B coverage and take up rate in the MENA region especially with the UAE as number one in the MENA region and second in the global ranking with an exhaustive FTTH coverage,” said Dr Safa Nassereldin, chairwoman and board member of the FTTH Council MENA.

"Other GCC countries also represent significant and dynamic markets such as KSA, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait. We are very optimistic for the Levant and North Africa countries such as Lebanon and Tunisia with new initiatives for the national digital vision 2020."

Some of the key drivers for the increase in FTTH adoption in the MENA region are the national broadband networks initiatives, housing programs and mobile backhaul. More than 48 FTTH/B projects took place in the market. The country with the highest penetration rate in the region is the UAE. The highest penetration rate after the UAE is Qatar with 72% followed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

The region’s future plan is to enter the Gigabit race while currently the highest speed rate available reaches 500 Mbps in UAE. The most widespread speed rate is 100 Mbps, available in UAE, KSA, Oman, Qatar, Jordan and Tunisia.

Most telcos in the GCC provide TV and video services available on their new networks and with the new OTT services launched in the Middle East region expectations for a wider FTTH coverage and an increased take up are both very promising.

FTTH is a future-proof technology and fast growing method of providing higher bandwidth to consumers and businesses, enabling more robust video, internet and voice services.

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