Egypt ISP shutdown has wider implications: analyst

Dobardziev says traditions in the Middle East are being challenged by social connectivity

Tags: EgyptOvum
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Egypt ISP shutdown has wider implications: analyst Internet shutdown has wider implications for the telecommunications industry in the Middle East says Ovum analyst Angel Dobardziev. (Getty Images)
By  Georgina Enzer Published  January 31, 2011

The mass internet shutdown across Egypt has wider implications for the telecommunications industry and the Middle East said Ovum analyst Angel Dobardziev.

 "At a most basic level it underlines the political risk of operating in the emerging markets for players as diverse such as Vodafone, Blackberry, and Google, which they have to weight against the undoubted growth opportunity," he said.

Dobardziev said that the massive growth of mobile and internet services has not only brought an increase in productivity and social benefits to the Middle East, but has also brought far more social connectivity, open access to information and openness in communities.

He said that the younger generations, who are fighting against the conservative and authoritarian traditions that have been the norm in the region, are particularly affected. 

"In this context, the telecoms boom in the region accelerated the clash between tradition and modernity, the open versus closed society, which we are now witnessing in the Middle East, and other places [e.g. China], which regimes are trying to contain. All said, the genie is out of the bottle, and while some regimes may try, there is no way of reversing the impact communications have made on the emerging markets and their people. But as events in Egypt show, the road ahead may be rocky for all, including telcos and the people they serve," he added.

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