UAE ‘plans to go all-fiber by 2011’
Cambridge, Mass., August 18, 2010
UAE will switch to a nationwide all-fiber network by 2011, boosting uptake of pay-TV and VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), according to a new report.
Fiber deployments and the increasing broadband penetration will result in significant growth in fixed broadband services over the next five years, generating $1.01 billion in 2015, up from $695 million in 2010, said the report from Pyramid Research, a leading US-based consultancy firm.
Since the UAE telecom market has caught up with those of the developed world in terms of service penetration, it can look forward to healthy but not dramatic growth between 2010 and 2015, the report said.
A key change over the next five years is the switch from copper to fiber fixed-line infrastructure that is currently underway and due to be completed by 2011, according to the report.
Du, the smaller and newer of the UAE's two operators, initially took the lead with fiber deployment, noted Hussam Barhoush, senior analyst at Pyramid Research.
'However, Etisalat has already caught up and surpassed its new rival in terms of fiber rollout. Abu Dhabi, was the first capital in the world to be all fiber, as Etisalat connected the city to the 'elife' FTTH network,' said Barhoush.
Etisalat plans to have upgraded its whole fixed network to fiber by 2011, he noted.
'As well as providing a boost to broadband revenue, the change will lead to growth in pay-TV adoption, as operators use advanced VAS to make IPTV services significantly more attractive than those of satellite operators,' Barhoush concluded.
As broadband penetration rate increases, it becomes critical that operators provide value added services in order to raise their current monthly ARPS. The next major opportunity for vendors will be LTE (long term evolution), which both Etisalat and Du will deploy within the next three years, according to the report. – TradeArabia News Service