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Fiber Connect Council MENA, previously known as FTTH Council MENA released to its member its exclusive study: MENA FTTH and 5G Panorama

The MENA region continues to attract both public and private investment in fiber infrastructure to bridge the digital gap, fuelled by digital transformation programs and COVID19 pandemic acceleration to broadband need to serve work from home, and online education. 

The Council also announced the completion of its transformation from FTTH Council MENA to Fiber Connect Council MENA to reflect the expansion of the Council mandate and vision to involve all fiber infrastructure players in more inclusive approach and respond to the fact that networks are converging across all technologies, wireless and wired, and the reality that fiber infrastructure sits as a catalyst for all digital transformation programs rather than a milestone itself.

The members-only exclusive study focused on the status of FTTH in the region showed that the United Arab Emirates maintained its worldwide first rank in fiber subscriber percentage to population (+98%). The study also has shown massive growth in numbers of the homes connected with fiber.

The Saudi Arabia MCIT (Ministry of Communications and Information Technology) who joined the launching of the study commented, “Over the 5 past years, the Kingdom has tripled the number of homes connected with fiber by reaching more than 3.5 million homes in the Kingdom, equivalent to 60% of total homes in the kingdom. Such an achievement came as a result of one of Saudi Vision 2030 initiatives led by the Ministry of Communications & IT (MCIT).”

The MCIT also added “It is worth mentioning that Vision 2030, launched by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, empowered people in charge of fiber-optics deployment represented by MCIT, and its partners from the public and private sectors, enabled digital transformation and contributed into developing digital economy.”

Abdulrahman Al Humaidan, Sr. Director/Fixed Access Network Planning & Design, Etisalat UAE commented on the study and the UAE achievement “Fiber connectivity is an integral part of future networks, especially today, with the availability of 5G, making it easier to bring futuristic technologies and services to all subscribers. Today’s achievement was made possible due to the wise vision of the leadership in the UAE, which resulted in positioning the country among the most digitally advanced countries. This has inspired us to realize our efforts to ‘Drive the digital future to Empower Societies’ by delivering world-class networks, infrastructure and innovative services. 

Etisalat’s state-of-the-art fiber infrastructure has empowered us in addressing the current challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and meeting our customers’ digital requirements, which resulted in facilitating businesses to work remotely and over a million students enjoying distance learning.

We will continue working towards maintaining our global leadership in FTTH penetration, and enhance our efforts in infrastructure readiness, to deliver access to vital digital services to all of our customers during today’s extraordinary difficult times.”

Commenting on the FTTH & 5G Panorama as well as the rebranding of FTTH Council MENA into Fiber Connect Council MENA, Juan Colina, who serves as the President of the Council and the Director, Business Development EMEA Region at Corning Optical Communication, said, “The Panorama is collected using scientific methodology to present our members with high quality research on the region opportunities and industry trends. The growth in fiber infrastructure over the past 5 years in MENA region is unprecedented and explains our need to re-boot the Council to service its members and the industry beyond the typical FTTH.

“On the results, Saudi Arabia has set digital transformation as engine to drive the kingdom forward and fiber connectivity is part of this vision. UAE has been a global pioneer and we in the Fiber Connect are proud of the results and aspiring to have more nations within the region accelerate their fiber connectivity growth”.

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