Talent [R]evolution

Fiber in MENA: What lies ahead?

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Step into the world of fiber technology with Kholoud Aldorgham, Director General of Fiber Connect Council MENA, as she explores its transformative power in the region. Discover the importance of fiber optics, their advantages over traditional connections, and their role in developing digital infrastructure. From discussing adoption rates to talent challenges, Kholoud examines talent acquisition and emerging trends that are set to shape the future of internet connectivity.

Investing in fiber optic technology has become an essential metric for government institutions, network operators, and other stakeholders across the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. As a broadband access technology, fiber optic technology provides optimized, highly sustainable, and future-proof connectivity solutions. In an era where sustainability is at the forefront of every industry, fiber optic technology emerges as a frontrunner, offering the most sustainable option among broadband technologies.

The superior quality and sustainability of fiber optic technology are paramount for the development of future digital services and applications across various sectors. From entertainment and education to corporate services, smart cities, and healthcare, maximizing investment in next-generation access is crucial for optimizing growth potential. Fiber optic technology stands as a key investment in achieving this objective, ensuring unparalleled reliability and performance.

The MENA region has witnessed significant progress in fiber optic technology infrastructure in recent years, with the UAE leading globally in the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) ranking. This progress extends beyond the UAE, with rapid adaptation observed across the region, spanning both western and eastern territories. Notably, infrastructure sharing policies are being embraced, and FTTH penetration is expanding beyond urban centers, reaching rural areas previously underserved.

The importance of broadband connectivity, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, cannot be overstated. Governments worldwide recognize the social and economic benefits of investing in high-quality broadband networks. To foster future innovation and socio-economic growth, broadband operators must continue investing in their networks. Governments and regulators play a pivotal role in facilitating such investments by implementing favorable legislation and regulations and providing necessary funding where market forces fall short.

While speed is a significant aspect of fiber optic technology, its benefits extend far beyond mere velocity. Fiber optic technology offers high reliability, low latency, and consistent networks, essential for various digital applications such as video conferencing, gaming, and video streaming. Businesses and individuals with access to such networks gain a significant competitive advantage, highlighting the importance of prioritizing fiber optic technology infrastructure development.

The adoption of fiber optic technology in the MENA region, particularly in GCC countries, is substantial and competitive compared to other nations. However, the focus should not solely be on speed; instead, the holistic benefits of fiber optic technology, including higher quality of service, lower maintenance costs, and reduced energy consumption, must be considered. By prioritizing fiber optic technology investments and ensuring supportive regulatory frameworks, the MENA region can foster digital transformation, driving economic prosperity and societal advancement.

Kholoud AlDorgham is seasoned professional with extensive experience in investment and securities industries in the Middle East. As the Director General of the Fiber Connect Council MENA since early 2020, she has spearheaded initiatives to advance fiber infrastructure projects across the region, positioning the Council as a thought leader. Kholoud's leadership has led to the release of the 5G and FTTH MENA panorama and the organization of knowledge-based webinars featuring global industry leaders. Elected as a Judge of the Telecoms World Award – Middle East Series and a member of the Fiber Council Global Alliance (FCGA), Kholoud continues to drive innovation and excellence in the telecommunications sector.

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