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At this year’s GITEX Technology Week in Dubai, communications infrastructure provider CommScope shared insights on how the company continues to redefine the market to meet the next wave of computing requirements. Telecom Review caught up with CommScope’s recently appointed VP of Sales, Service Providers, Middle East & Africa, Femi Oshiga, whose objective is to extend CommScope’s portfolio elements in all key markets in a sustainable manner.

What can you tell us about CommScope’s showcase here at GITEX 2017?

Here at GITEX 2017 we are showcasing a number of innovative solutions at our stand. We have our small cells for in-building solutions (with the right planning, you can deploy a small cell network within a couple of days). We are also showcasing our entire FTTx portfolio (FTTx is a generic term for any broadband network architecture using optical fiber). We’re showing how quickly we can deploy a ruggedized cost-effective, high quality fiber network.

Small cells right now are essentially 4G solutions, but they’re the first step towards 5G. The 5th Generation technology is all about high bandwidth and low latency, and small cells are a first significant step in that direction. CommScope is working towards 5G in a number of directions by evolving our fiber portfolio, and with small cells we are forever increasing the amount of bandwidth, reducing latency, and reducing complexity and planning. CommScope is playing a major role in the service of our customers achieving 5G. 

What are some key technology trends in the Middle East based on insights from CommScope’s customers and partners?

Given the focus on a post-oil era, it’s no surprise the region is still in the early stages of the greatest transformation of networking - especially as exponential growth in video, mobility and cloud are revolutionising how we connect to each other.

It’s a very interesting time to be in the Middle East right now – an important region for CommScope. There’s a lot of divestment from oil into sectors such as finance, construction, manufacturing, and so on, which is leading to a whole new range of technology innovations. CommScope provides the underlying infrastructure that enables these technologies to be utilized to their fullest.

Can you update us on the latest developments in high-speed migration?

Because of the data growth out there – the “data explosion” – all that data has to go to a central point – to a data centre. These data centres have to evolve and expand very rapidly to keep up with the pace of growth. High speed migration is all about enabling the operator to do so in a non-disruptive manner. Here at GITEX, CommScope has been showcasing the technologies we have that demonstrate how all this can happen without too much disruption to what operators already have.

When you say “disruption” what do you mean exactly?

Operators don’t want to throw out their investments made over the years. They want to conduct business in a way that protects their previous investments, but at the same time they want to grow, which is exactly what high speed migration provides.

Can you update us on the latest fiber and broadband trends across the region?

In Africa, for example, you’d be surprised how much services like YouTube and Netflix have taken off. This, once again, proves how the world is going through a “data explosion”. That data has to be carried to a centralized point. Once you go off the wireless network you have to go onto fiber. That’s why see fiber as a major growth area moving forward over the next few years, and it’s really all about the technology’s distribution into the access network, and doing it in a cost effective and long term sustainable manner. That’s exactly what CommScope is good at – after all, we’ve been doing it for over forty years.

Can you provide some examples of where CommScope has been active in laying the groundwork for fiber in the region?

South Africa is an example. It’s a country that has really taken off and is diversifying away from voice traffic and is consolidating revenues from the higher end subscribers by offering them triple/quadruple play, and they do that with fiber. We see a similar trend in Saudi Arabia. There are slightly different motivations for doing it in Saudi Arabia, as it’s more through government initiatives and providing the basis of smart city infrastructure. But what makes South Africa and Saudi Arabia similar is the undeniable explosion in fiber. The challenges we tend to have in the fiber space are to do with access – the technology is there, but every market has unique delivery requirements within various regulatory environments.

Can you share some of your plans for 2018?

2018 is shaping up to be a very interesting time for CommScope as we look forward. It is a time where we will make the most of our acquisition of TE Connectivity’s broadband network solutions and the fiber portfolio that came with it (the $3 billion cash transaction aimed to strengthen CommScope’s position in areas such as indoor and outdoor wireless networks; data centers and central offices; connected and efficient buildings; and access and backhaul networks.)

We aim to bundle these new assets with CommScope’s wireless and copper portfolio and package it into solutions that suit our markets. We believe we are in a very strong position that will help us serve all of our customers.

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