Kuwait Is Determined To Enhance Communications And IT Sectors

November 9
5:13 AM 2016

Kuwait is very eager to enhance and upgrade the infrastructure of communications and information technology sectors via replacing the old coaxial cables with new high-speed fiber-optic networks, a Kuwaiti official reiterated Tuesday.

Kuwait has begun implementing the high speed fiber technology project on three phases in cooperation with major companies in that field using most modern global technologies, Communications Ministry's Undersecretary Hamid Al-Qattan said.

Al-Qattan made his remarks in his speech at the eighth edition of the Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Conference and Exhibition, which kicked off on Monday.

He also said that the fiber-optic technologies have a main role in enhancing the internet service in Kuwait in light of the continued growth of such services and consumers' aspiration toward new methods for economic, media, social, and entertainment interactions and communication.

The three-day conference, organized by Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), provides a good opportunity for exchanging information and discovering opportunities and future challenges in that field, he noted.

The FTTH Council MENA is an industry organization with a mission to accelerate FTTH adoption by all broadband stakeholders through information and promotion, in order to accelerate the availability of fiber-based, ultra-high-speed access networks to consumers and businesses.
FTTH aims at delivering a flow of new services that enhances the quality of life, contributes to a better environment, and boosts competitiveness.

It can be noted that last July this year, Telecommunications for Kuwait has become a key sector in the region for attracting foreign and public investment. The total value generated by the mobile ecosystem is equivalent to 4% GDP. A well-developed physical and digital infrastructure has a direct impact on productivity by connecting economic agents, reducing transaction costs, easing the flow of information and enabling integration of markets. Technology facilitates innovation and affects firms and countries productivity by giving decision makers more complete information.

Kuwait offers significant opportunities in this domain. With a low-fixed broadband penetration-partially due to a recurrent underinvestment in infrastructure and no clear national broadband policy-a lot is still to be achieved. Investment in a fixed broadband network will drive service innovation and quality, both for consumers and enterprises.

The mobile segment, on the other hand, is facing severe challenges. The Kuwaiti mobile market has experienced strong competition. Over the last six years, and partially driven by the entry of VIVA in the Kuwaiti market in 2008, the average revenue per user has declined at a CAGR of 9%. The entrance of a mobile virtual network operator could consume further market share and continue driving revenue downwards. At the same time, VoIP and digital messaging applications such as Skype and Whatsapp have steadily been substituting traditional use, affecting international and roaming calls. It is estimated that in 2013 Skype's over-the-top communications services cost the telecommunications industry $36.5 billion worldwide (2.5x more than in 2012).

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