SPONSORED Q&A: Mohammed Al-Nusif, CEO, Qualitynet
Mohammed Al-Nusif, CEO at Qualitynet, talks about making the Middle East a "hop" away.
Qualitynet has grown leaps and bounds in its region and is also making strides internationally. As a local Kuwaiti internet Services Provider, how have you accomplished this?
We made a humble start 17 years back, when Kuwait’s government decided to privatize the Internet market. Kuwait was the pioneer amongst the Gulf region in Telecom market liberalization. We have since grown to become the leading total solutions provider in the country, holding the majority of market share in both corporate and consumer segments. Not too long after inception, we began offering International connectivity and today have a global footprint by establishing PoPs at various locations worldwide and through our many strategic partnerships with Industry leaders. Whilst a local Kuwaiti ISP, we have always set our sights on becoming an international connectivity partner. We attribute our success to our leadership vision, which has always been about striking long-term partnerships based on trust, synergy, and strategy.
Your slogan, the Middle East is a “hop” away, is a nice play on words – could you elaborate on how you bring the Middle East closer to the world?
Kuwait, with its geographical positioning and political stability, has proven to be an excellent gateway for the region, especially Iraq. It offers not only the shortest route to go north, but also multiple redundant links. Capitalizing upon this opportunity, we established PoPs in a number of countries in the Middle East and Europe. In countries having specific local policies, we go off-net through OSS agreements with local partners. Our regional network is backhauled to our own PoPs in Europe through diversified routes to ensure highest standards of service availability and is also backhauled to Singapore through a partner. We have also established PoPs in Iraq to help multinational organizations reach a somewhat tough market. Our competitive edge is that we back our investments with industry-standard SLAs, guaranteeing Quality-of-Service, and attractive pricing.
We talked last year about your approach into Iraq. How has Qualitynet grown in that country and what have been the challenges?
Having realized the potential demand for connectivity in Iraq, we made our move and were the first operator lighting up capacity to Iraq 7 years ago, via the Kuwait/Iraq border serving the Armed Forces market segment. Ever since, we have established two PoPs in Iraq to cover multi-nationals in industries including Mobile Network Operators, Food, Banking, and Oil & Gas among others. We have enhanced our SLA levels to match global standards and have implemented huge capacities for some of our major customers who have presence in Iraq and Kuwait. These customer transit Iraq to Turkey and then onto Europe, Asia, and other continents. This has been considered as the first transit circuit that would open up Iraq to be a transit hub diversifying Suez Egypt.
The bottleneck of Suez Egypt is posing to become a serious concern for global & regional carriers. Does Qualitynet plan to overcome it?
The Suez Egypt bottleneck is certainly a genuine concern. All submarine cable systems use Suez as a gateway to the Middle East region. To counter the issue, major regional operators have established 2 terrestrial cable systems from GCC to Turkey and then to Europe. Heading a consortium, we initiated a project to establish a terrestrial cable system from UAE to Turkey through Iraq (called ‘Gulf Iraq Turkey’ or ‘GIT’). However, the political instability in Iraq has slowed down its progress. Upon completion, this project will serve as an alternative to Suez Egypt. We are combining our efforts with those of other regional operators to further resolve the Egypt Suez bottleneck.
What are you looking to gain from your participation in ITW 2015?
The ITW has always proven to be an excellent platform to network with global & regional carriers. It is a pleasure to see our friends in the industry every year and learning about how their business has grown and the challenges they have faced – it is a great learning experience. The event brings leaders in the segment together under one roof, making it convenient to meet and discuss business opportunities and concerns with partners and customers, both existing and prospective. We look forward to meeting our peers and friends next year at ITW 2016.