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UAE leads Middle East in FTTH roll out

UAE is a global leader in FTTH/B adoption, says FTTH Council Europe

UAE leads Middle East in FTTH roll out
Only Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong have higher levels of FTTH penetration than the UAE.

The UAE is the first country in the Middle East to join the global leaders in Fibre-to-the-Home, according to the FTTH Council Europe.

The country is the first in the region to rank on the FTTH Global Rankings, which track penetration of FTTH, by the percentage of households that subscribe to broadband over a fibre connection.

With a FTTH/B penetration rate of 30.8%, the Emirates easily surpasses the 1% required to join the Global Ranking, and actually accounts for 96% of FTTH/B subscribers and 76% of all homes passed in the Middle East. Only Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong have higher penetration rates.

The high level of penetration rates are accounted for by the large amount of new construction in the country, and the aggressive efforts of operators to deploy fibre, according to Chris Holden, president of the FTTH Council Europe.

"The United Arab Emirates is clearly a country apart, thanks to the involvement of both the incumbent Etisalat and its main challenger Du. Incumbent operators in the Middle East consider FTTH/B as a real differentiator that can help confirm their dynamism on the international scene - and the Emirates will certainly make headlines with such a dynamic leap into the Global Ranking," he said.

The news that the UAE had made the Global Ranking was announced at the FTTH Middle East Conference 2010 in Beirut this week, which attracted around 300 delegates.

"Although FTTH/B in the Middle East is still in its infancy, telecoms operators can see the potential. We have seen encouraging announcements in 2010, and expect more Middle East countries to enter the Ranking over the next few years," commented Faris Awartani, Chair of the FTTH Council Europe Middle East Working Group.

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