UTStarcom attracted by Middle East opportunity

IP-based networking and telecommunications heavyweight underlines aspirations for growth in the burgeoning Middle East comms market

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By  Published  November 30, 2006

Publicly-listed, UTStarcom — a key player in IP-based, end-to-end networking and telecommunications solutions — has talked up plans to offer more services to the Arab world.

The company has grown out of a strong presence in China and the Asia Pacific and is now interested in expanding further into the Gulf region.

“The combination of investment in the region, deregulation and the need for services to compete is creating the ideal climate for our services,” said Abir Hnidi, general manager Middle East at UTStarcom.

“Based on our technology, we’re very well positioned to deliver our differentiated services to the region.”

Next generation networks are becoming widely established in the Middle East and UTStarcom is out to capitalise on the opportunities that brings.

“We’re not a long-term historical legacy vendor,” commented David King, senior VP international sales and marketing at the company. “Everything we’ve done has been IP-based from day one.”

The demand for mass scale solutions in the Chinese market has prepared UTStarcom for penetration into the Middle East market.

UTStarcom has launched Personal Access System (PAS) mobile telephony in China, followed by the implementation of its IP DSLAM broadband solutions. King said: “We have developed our next generation portfolio since the mid 1990s, giving us a template which fits very well with the region.”

Behind the demand for UTStarcom’s services lies the regulatory landscape.

“The Middle East is allowing emerging operators to compete with its incumbents, creating opportunities for new companies to build infrastructure and establish next generation networks, which can support voice, data, video and wireless simultaneously,” added King. “The market is devolving. Vendors can no longer compete on a voiceonly precedent. That, and our experience in deployment of networks, which can cope with triple play solutions at scale and pace is where we fit into this region,” he said.

Late last month, UTStarcom announced a distribution contract with Maxim Telecom to meet the demand of the growing fixed and mobile markets in Pakistan. The Pakistan communications market continues to grow rapidly with mobile density now in excess of 25%.

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