September 04, 2013
Middle East Provider Ooredoo Has a Plan for Developing Markets
By Steve Anderson
Contributing TMCnet Writer
Developing markets are something of a mixed bag. Due to the nature of such markets, there's plenty of room and likely more than a little pent-up demand to go with it as people long to get their hands on what neighbors in developed markets have already had for some time. Yet there are inherent problems to such markets as well, and Ooredoo, a mobile operator running in the Middle East, has a set of plans geared toward getting the most out of the developing market while at the same time protecting itself against problems that may occur.
Ooredoo's plan has several parts, and is geared toward building out infrastructure on several fronts, with clear targets in mind. First, it's working to bulk up its Indosat (News - Alert) operation, bringing a variety of services to the Indonesian market on the strength of a fiber backbone. This is bringing in IP MPLS and virtual private network services alike, as well as the services inherently available with a fiber backbone. One of the biggest targets in the region is the financial sector, as financial services require access to a large amount of information to get the job done.
There are other markets being addressed by Ooredoo, as plans for Oman include a 3,000 kilometer fiber ring around Oman for better backhaul redundancy as well as bundles of fiber, mobile broadband and fixed wireless service. Even Tunisia will be getting in on this action as Ooredoo brings in fiber for business districts with accompanying offers of high-speed connectivity.
Given that Ooredoo accounts revenues of $9.3 billion in just 2012 alone, and a customer base of fully 92.9 million people to its credit as of December 31, 2012, it's worth paying attention to what Ooredoo is doing in the market. Based on these reports, it looks like “fiber” is the word of the day out at Ooredoo, and that's actually proving somewhat interesting. Considering the recent efforts of Google (News - Alert) to roll out its own fiber service in Google Fiber, it's easy to see where service providers might be interested in doing likewise elsewhere. There's really no shortage of demand when it comes to bandwidth, be it for business use, education use, government use or home use, so bringing in infrastructure is likely to not be a move that goes to waste.
It also doesn't hurt that, based on reports from Ooredoo's group CEO Nasser Marafih, the pace of business is rapidly “speeding up” in both the Asian and the MENA markets, so having infrastructure in place to grow with that business—and by extension take advantage of that growing business—is a smart idea.
Whether Ooredoo's plans for growing, developing markets are successful or not remains to be seen, but it's a safe bet that bringing bandwidth to where it was in short supply previously will be, ultimately, well received.
Edited by Alisen Downey
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