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Internet performance ‘low at peak hours’

Manama, March 21, 2012

About 71 per cent of home workers in the region are experiencing a reduction in Internet service performance during work hours, thereby significantly hindering their business efficiency, said a report.

The number of Internet users in the Middle East since 2000 has grown by more than 2,100 per cent  and today more than 72 million people, or 34 percent of the population, are regularly online with an increasing number relying on the Internet for their livelihoods, added the new research from top networking solutions firm Brocade.

Only 13 per cent of respondents reported “complete satisfaction” with their current Internet Service Providers (ISP), showing there is real cause for concern among (ISPs) in the region, the report said.

With almost a quarter of employees working from home on a daily basis, lack of network performance is fast becoming a concern for businesses looking to empower a flexible workforce. As corporations steadily continue to migrate their business processes to the Internet, dependence on an uninterrupted Internet connection is proving to be a growing concern.

More than 70 per cent of the respondents gauged the business impact of Internet downtime to be either high or severe. Being able to provide a consistent and reliable service that can handle the additional capacity and bandwidth during such high-demand periods poses a huge challenge to service providers.

Sufian Dweik, regional manager of Mena at Brocade said, “The option of working remotely means that an increasing number of corporate Internet users require faster connections in their homes.”

“Almost 90 per cent of respondents have subscribed to an unlimited download plan and, given that over half of the respondents estimate their average monthly usage to be more than three gigabytes, there is huge pressure on service provider networks to deliver.”

The survey, polling 521 respondents from a wide range of businesses across the region, found that 35 per cent, most of whom were middle-management employees, stated that they worked from home at least once a month with a further 21 per cent working from home on a daily basis.

More than 35 per cent of participants reported a moderate increase in Internet usage over the past year, which they attributed to increased use of smartphones, Web 2.0 and multimedia content as well as the deployment of more business applications on Internet platforms.

Two-thirds of participants cited lower cost as the main reason behind their intentions to change their service provider.

Half stated higher reliability as their motivation behind any future change in provider.

Leading ISPs in the region have realized that a strong network backbone is a business critical asset and have begun optimizing their networks to increase bandwidth capacity and efficiency – but it seems that they still need to do more, while maintaining an attractive pricing plan for users, Dweik said.

“The high charges for Internet services in the region can be attributed to the high operational costs that ISPs face. The fluctuating nature of broadband access means that ISPs often end up investing heavily to ensure that networks match the demand during peak windows,” Dweik added.

“Our Effortless Network campaign highlights how modern networks need to extend across physical boundaries and deliver a highly reliable user experience wherever data is accessed, and from whatever device,” Dweik noted.

“With the recently launched Brocade Network Subscription, we are now offering of an innovative, subscription-based acquisition option for network infrastructure that allows organisations to align network capacity with fluctuating business demands. Therefore it’s important that service providers ensure they don’t miss this opportunity to prosper,” he concluded. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Internet | ISP | performance | Manama | service provider | Brocade | Peak hours |

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