North Africa is being left behind as the rest of Africa embraces aggressive expansion of fibre to the home (FTTH) programs, a report by Pyramid Research indicates.
The report titled, “FTTH in the Middle East & North Africa: Untapped Opportunities for Operators” looks at the reasons why the market in North Africa is less advanced compared to its neighbours.
“Recently there have been some exciting developments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in terms of commercial FTTH services,” Kerem Arsalisan AME senior analyst commented. But he added that most of the activities have been limited to what they call the “Big Three” (UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkey).
According to the report, one reason for poor FTTH services in North Africa is lack of competition, with high FTTH uptake corresponding with competition among operators.
Competitive dynamics, the report says, affect the incentives of incumbents and alternative operators to deploy their networks. These factors together can be used to explain the varying degrees of success experienced in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
“Countries with strong FTTH uptake and potential are those where existing fixed access traditions exist,” the report stated.
The issue of demand and supply also contributes to the development of any sector. According to the report, supply of FTTH is directly related to urban densities and associated housing structures.
In an earlier research by Pyramid Research, the market for North Africa showed growth in FTTH services, with Egypt standing out. Egypt had shown a significant market share of 55 percent in 2010 and would rise to 57 percent in 2011. Other countries in the region are under the 20 percent mark.