The Middle East reaps the benefits of its high fibre diet

CommsMEA spoke with Juan Colina, regional director, Middle East, Corning Optical Communications and president of the FTTH Council MENA to discover how the region is leveraging the transformative power of full fibre connectivity
Fibre, FTTH, FTTH Council MENA, MENA, Connectivity, Networks


What are your priorities for FTTH penetration in the broader MENA area?

A lot of the work we do in the region has been focused on encouraging the adoption of fibre as the preferred medium of choice across multiples types of applications including 5G, wireless applications and smart cities. The UAE and Saudi Arabia are investing significantly in FTTH and with the roll out of 5G in these markets, we are seeing a key focus on getting the FTTH infrastructure ready, since it will be a requirement for the deployment of 5G networks.

As a leading supplier of FTTH products, Corning has been a key player on both rollouts and we are able to bring our global expertise to the region as we have over 52 million homes passed with FTTH technology globally. A lot of our work is also focused on helping operators, not only to cope with existing demand, but also to be ready for future demands of fibre.

Separately, in my role as the President of the FTTH Council MENA, I spearhead the council’s mission to ensure that fibre really becomes the medium to deliver the bandwidth capacity that is required in the Middle East.

How are improving fibre penetration levels helping to positively impact people’s lives particularly in North Africa?

North Africa is a rapidly growing market and we are seeing the benefits of fibre being utilised across the different applications. We believe fibre is future-proof and enables all the capacity and latency required for next-generation networks, and hence our focus lies in ensuring the increased adoption of fibre in North Africa as well.

More importantly, fibre has helped people maintain connectivity as we stayed indoors during the pandemic. Technology had a more significant role this year as people started working from home and relied on the internet to connect with family and friends, and it gives me great joy to know that the extensive work we do in fibre is helping bring people together and maintaining a sense of normalcy in a socially distanced world.

You can read our full interview with  Juan Colina in the September issue  of CommsMEA and  online later next month.

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