Developers are always looking to draw in tenants and the competitive edge is in being able to deliver services that no other developers offer, according to Anthony Potgieter, ICT Manager at QPM. He has worked on varying project ICT mandates in Qatar with clients including Lusail’s pioneering Smart City concept, the Internal Security Force Duhail Camp Project, Barwa City, Barwa Commercial Avenue, and more.
He said, “There are many challenges and opportunities to be addressed and explored, from the service provider’s and the developer’s respective perspectives, and as technology and services evolve which are customer and end user driven.”
One of our responsibilities as developers is to deliver good infrastructure to complete good projects, he said. Lusail City is a good example of how good planning is essential to developing functional systems infrastructure. The size and scope of the project brings with it the important challenge of delivering telecoms infrastructure that is both all-encompassing and intuitive, across the breadth of the project.
Due to the magnitude of these projects, developers are responsible for ensuring that tenants can receive services from all service providers. In addition, other massive Infrastructure projects like a subways, rail networks, and stadiums are being built for World Cup 2022 that will require high quality, and very fast broadband services.
A constant challenge for any service partner is to get broadband connected to buildings and facilities. Because the internet and wireless connectivity are now ubiquitous, it is essential to have the right infrastructure in place to make this easy for the service providers. Technology has been progressing rapidly. In the past, when people used dial up connections, something as simple as downloading emails would take a few minutes. Today, people want everything at the touch of a button and they want the fastest solution possible, said Potgieter.
So to adapt to shifts in technology, companies such as QPM work with project principals to deploy the most advanced infrastructure possible. The challenge is that systems are being upgraded all the time. This including evolutions in cabling technology which has advanced from Cat 5 cabling to Cat 6 and Cat 6E cables in a short period. New front-end systems are also coming into the picture. As project managers and developers are always looking to upgrade their systems, Potgieter said you can see situations where even within the same developer’s purview, buildings and projects often become islands – isolated from each other – and there is often a lack of consistency between projects. For new front-end systems to work, the planned infrastructure should be intuitive enough to be compatible with these changes.
Potgieter said, “QPM is always trying to consider how they can link developers with the outside world and look at interconnected networks.”
The next generation of networks being implemented in Qatar have the bandwidth to support growing occupancy and meet the end user’s technology needs. With Qatar’s Next Generation Fixed Broadband Network, an open access platform is envisaged that will provide equal opportunities to telecom service providers to deliver enhanced Telecom and Non-telecom services.
These include service such as Triple-play Telecommunication Services, Telephone (Voice Services/VoIP), Data (High Speed Internet) and Video (HD Video/IPTV), as well providing as a host of enhanced services such as 4G GSM and Wi-Fi services, Cloud and Hosted Data Center Services and integrated 3rd party Smart Services, giving the Telecom ISP and end users a greater opportunity in provision and selection options in services.
Implementing the Next Generation Fixed Broadband Network, from a developer’s prospective, according to Potgieter, means cost savings in infrastructure works including excavation and ducting works, horizontal and vertical structural cabling, as well as reduction in ISP space provisioning (MDF and IDF) telecom rooms.
Conversely, it also creates greater investment opportunities for the provision of enhanced telecom services to tenants and users, marketing opportunities to add value to the core offering and draw in desirable tenants, as well as providing a tangible proof of the project’s positioning of being where people want to be.
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