Reinvention of the wheel

The deregulation of the Middle East’s telecommunications sector will radically alter the way regional enterprises approach internet protocol (IP) telephony. IP presents a compelling value proposition for corporations and government organisations in the Middle East looking to leverage the benefits of a converged network.

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By  Angela Sutherland Published  April 16, 2006

|~||~||~|The deregulation of the Middle East’s telecommunications sector will radically alter the way regional enterprises approach internet protocol (IP) telephony. IP presents a compelling value proposition for corporations and government organisations in the Middle East looking to leverage the benefits of a converged network. Streamlined resource management, lower telecommunications costs, mobility and efficient use of bandwidth are encouraging corporations to either adopt or consider the technology. IP is the fastest developing market since the internet. It is sharpening up to be a much more than a niche market, projecting an immense range of applications and mass-market appeal. Unlike previous packet-based technologies for carrying voice over multi-service networks, IP now has a momentum that crosses the boundaries of public and private networks, enterprise and residential markets, voice and data technologies and local and long distance services. With large-scale voice and data convergence, IP is now providing the final push for its full realisation. Above all else, VoIP is basically a clever reinvention of the wheel. The infrastructure of the Middle East may be in its infancy stage with many markets still being monopolistic and controlled by the government; the region’s telecommunications sector has undergone significant change over the last few years and IP vendors are welcoming the change with complete enthusiasm. The move not only gives them the much-awaited opportunity to exploit the lucrative telecommunications space, but also opens doors to new business possibilities. As Mitel correctly puts it, the advantage of IP telephony in the Middle East is that end users are willing to give the technology a chance. The market is in transition; hence end users and vendors alike, are willing to exploit every possible opportunity. Take Dubai Courts for example; the government body has implemented Mitel’s IP solution to update the existing communications system and increase call volume capability. “With such diversity and advancement we are now witnessing in the [region], Dubai courts are keen to keep pace with the change and offer responsive services to both the legal profession and the public,” says Hashem Al Hashmi, spokesperson for Dubai Courts. As organisations across the region start reaping the benefits of deregulation, mobility and momentum will build, further fuelling the integration of wireless networks and telephony into business models. ||**||

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