Fibre is the future

Service providers in the Middle East are currently reaping the rewards of their investment for triple play services; telephone, internet and TV via one xDSL or cable connection from a single network provider.

Tags: R&M Middle East
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Fibre is the future
By  Shibu Vahid Published  September 14, 2013

Service providers in the Middle East are currently reaping the rewards of their investment for triple play services; telephone, internet and TV via one xDSL or cable connection from a single network provider. Referred to as convergence, this approach represents the coming together of IT, internet and media and has resulted in an integral communication package that has been widely welcome by customers.

If service providers are to learn from the experiences of the west, they should be preparing themselves for the inevitable growth in customer demands. Hardware and software, from smartphones to data centres, are becoming ever more efficient. They offer users new functions every day. The mega trend of convergence appears to be bringing the region closer and closer to unlimited communication in real time. Fixed and cellular networks, clouds and apps are creating amazing symbioses and new kinds of business opportunities and models.

With every new application, there is an increase in the volume of data to be transported, the need for an omnipresent internet connection that can be used on the road, and the desire for loss-free, immediate transmission. Storage specialist EMC estimates that 2.8 zettabytes of digital data were generated and stored worldwide in 2012.

By 2020, that figure could reach 40 zettabytes.

Global data traffic via the internet is growing by 32% every year. Consequently, the demand for bandwidth in the fixed network is doubling around every 18 to 20 months. Video transmission in particular is causing networks to be used virtually to capacity. In order to meet the needs of the imminent data explosion there are still obstacles to overcome.

The infrastructure needed to be online everywhere at all times is often lacking, or it is too slow. If data volume and the trend toward the digitisation of our everyday routines continue, standard copper and coaxial cable networks, and even cellular networks, will increasingly reach their performance maximums due to physical limitations. This then raises the question, which technology can best meet the challenges of the future?

The answer is clear: In the long term, full-scale fibre optic (FO) networks can only provide the necessary data throughput and the required transmission speed for all subscribers in a network together with other technologies. Something needs to be done if network operators hope to meet the requirements in terms of availability, bandwidth and speed. They should further extend FO infrastructures, bringing them ever closer to the customer. But for this to happen, there needs to be wide public support.

Some countries in northern and eastern Europe, in the Middle East and Asia are doing pioneer work and resolutely treading the path toward the fibre society. In many locations, it is the competitors of the established telecommunications providers who are taking over the role of pacemaker and investing in new fibre optic networks.

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