Address the challenge of localising content, warn carriers

05 March 2013 | Kavit Majithia


Carriers across the Middle East have identified the importance of addressing the increasing challenge of localising content on day 1 of Capacity Middle East.

Speaking at the keynote panel yesterday, representatives from Batelco Bahrain, Etisalat and GBI commented on the region’s increasing opportunities to drive local content towards Europe and other parts of the world.

It also highlighted the need for carriers to increase investments in data centres and address over-the-top services.

Rashid Abdulla, CEO at Batelco Bahrain, believes there is an increasing opportunity for Middle Eastern operators to address a low mobile penetration rate, through increased investment in broadband and LTE services.

“There is a need for the industry in this region to continue moving. This is by both generating content and investing in broadband. It is taking longer than expected but it will happen. It is proving a challenge.”

Abdulla said up to 90% of its traffic goes to Europe, and while accessing low latency becomes an increasing problem, so does the challenge to bring this traffic back to its domestic region and localise the content. For this to happen, prices need to reduce dramatically.

Ali Amiri, EVP of wholesale carrier services at Etisalat, further commented on the potential for the UAE to become a hub for communications, as it now is for aviation and ports.

“In terms of wholesale telecoms, both domestically and internationally, there is an opportunity to ensure we become a leading region in the world and there needs to be more urgency to achieve this.”