Economics - North Africa - Algeria - Egypt - Morocco - Development - Telecommunications
Middle East and North Africa open for telecom business
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 Next Generation Telecoms MENA summit.

France Telecom is set to spend as much $8.6 billion on Middle East and North Africa (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.

And a Next Generation Telecoms MENA committee (hosted by GDS International) is investing time to identify the critical roles of telecommunications in the economic development of the region as more technologically diverse services are becoming available to both businesses and consumers alike.

Key to discussions will be investment into Internet Protocol based infrastructure to replace the traditional telephone systems, Long Term Evolution /Systems Architect Evolution will play a vital role in developing this further and for unifying service delivery in an all IP environment.

Internet usage is on the rise and money spent in the right place now will pay dividends.

But all that won’t happen overnight and Vodafone Qatar - Grahame Maher, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Du - Osman Sultan, CEO, Etisalat - Azhar Zia-ur-Rehman, Group Director IT Governance, MTN Afghanistan - George Nassif, Chief Information Officer(CIO) are only too aware of this.

The Next Generation Telecoms 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?” NGT 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.


Photograph: Alex Turner


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