10th FTTH MENA Conference: Future of fiber optics looks positive
The 10th edition of the Fibre to the Home (FTTH) MENA Conference and Expo (October 29-31) was launched this week for the first time in Beirut, at the Hilton Habtoor Hotel.
The conference brings together more than 15 major players from the information and communications technology (ICT) industry, located across the MENA region and the world.
Juan Colina, President of the FTTH Council MENA, launched the proceedings and said: “We are honoured to hold our annual event this year in Beirut where we clearly see big potentials and incentives for Fiber broadband deployment on national basis. We will provide during these 2 days real success stories from the MENA region and the world leading to successful national economic development and growth.”
The conference comprised workshops and several themed sessions, led and moderated by a list of world-class strategic leaders and industry speakers, with topics such as: the FTTH enabler of of 5G technology and the Internet of Things (IOT); the region’s latest broadband projects and how best to deploy ultra-fast broadband to homes and businesses within the markets covered; the technical, commercial challenges faced by the public and private sectors in the MENA region regarding FTTH as well as the investment perspectives; the FTTH Network Sharing – Passive & active sharing; the Role of FTTH as Enabler in the digital transformation and Smart Cities; the FTTH Benefits as infrastructure; The National Broadband Networks policies in MENA; and the Socioeconomic benefits of fibre.
According to the latest studies undertaken by the FTTH MENA Council, the number of households with FTTH, or fibre-optic communication delivery, in the MENA region has almost doubled in the past year, rising from 10% in 2017 to 19% in 2018. An analysis of available data reveals that the number of FTTH subscribers increased dramatically – in some cases by more than 100% – in key markets, including Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, Oman and Tunisia, following the rollout of several new regional fibre-network projects.
The year 2018 has brought heightened activity in the industry across the MENA region, triggered by the introduction of several new fibre-network ventures on the back of significant public investment. Countries whose governments are currently channelling funds into fibre projects include Lebanon, Iran and Kuwait.
The pre-conference day held on Monday October 29 saw a large number of attendees take part in specially tailored workshops with a focus on key industry topics, including FTTH technologies and design, the multi-dwelling-unit (MDU) market and solutions for the MENA region, that will support them in the planning and implementation phases of their fibre projects.
The exhibition, which ran alongside the conference, gave attendees valuable networking opportunities to meet and exchange information with representatives from companies showcasing the latest technologies.
The FTTH Council MENA also announced during the conference their plans to hold the 11th edition of their Annual Conference in Cairo in 2019.