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Dr. Ahmed Al-Sulaiti, Qatar National Broadband Network
Ahead of the event, we’ve had pleasure to speak with Dr. Ahmed Al-Sulaiti, who is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Qatar National Broadband Network (Qnbn) and one of the foremost Qatari industry professionals shaping the ambitious digitalization agenda of the country. With rich local experience in the telecom sector, Dr. Al-Sulaiti ensures that Qnbn is delivering an innovative state-of-the-art broadband network.
1. Could you please tell us a little bit about the long-term goals of the Qatar National Broadband Network (Qnbn) and what is your role in achieving this?
Qnbn is committed to being the conduit of Qatar’s advancement as it provides the latest fiber optic broadband infrastructure to help achieve a knowledge-based digital economy.
In line with the Qatar National Vision 2030 and National Broadband Plan, Qnbn is building a state-of-the-art network that provides open and equal access to telecom service providers to ensure faster, next generation internet services, whilst providing end-users with a choice of telecom service providers.
As such, Qnbn has contributed towards the overall growth of the telecom market sector in Qatar, and is working closely with local telecom service providers to help advance the national digital agenda and support the initiatives of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT).
2. How is Qnbn delivering an innovative state-of-the-art broadband network in Qatar?
Qnbn was established to meet demand for ICT infrastructure, specifically insufficient landline capacity to meet future demand and growth.
The idea is that by providing an open fiber network through a neutral player, telecom service providers can offer and design their products without having to make costly investments in infrastructure. This will mean lower costs while stimulating new products and entrepreneurship.
Since Qnbn’s inception, it has contributed towards the growth of the ICT sector. This was made possible through benchmarking on best practices and working closely with reputed global partners to deliver the highest standards of quality and enable Qatar to thrive as a sustainable and dynamic knowledge economy.
3. What are the key challenges and opportunities in delivering Fiber to the Home in Qatar?
With the aim of empowering the nation to become fully connected, Qnbn faced some issues related to access to existing infrastructure in Brown Filed areas and stakeholders full engagement. However, Qnbn is determined on maximizing the use of existing infrastructure in Brown Filed areas when possible through access agreements that are governed under commercial conditions.
Furthermore, opportunities lie ahead with the anticipated growth in population in Qatar, increasing demand for broadband as a result of real estate and business development, the evolvement of smart city solutions across the nation and Qatar’s numerous mega projects such as, stadiums, in anticipation for world-class events like the FIFA World Cup 2022.
4. Could you please tell us a little bit about the level of uptake of fiber by consumers and businesses in Qatar?
The demand for broadband in Qatar is increasing for businesses and individuals alike.
To reflect this growth in uptake, Qnbn has successfully connected towers and compounds in the West Bay area, Msheireb Downtown Doha project, Barwa City, Barwa Commercial Avenue and have so far connected seven central offices in Qatar. A number of other major agreements are also currently in place with some of Qatar’s best-known names in real estate development, healthcare, oil and gas, education, and government.
5. What are you most looking forward to at the Fixed Access Networks conference in April 2015?
It will undoubtedly be a very enriching platform which will provide a unique opportunity to discuss relevant industry issues, developments and trends, while exchanging knowledge and best practices with like-minded international experts.
Furthermore, the event will serve as an opportunity for us and our peers to share our success stories but also reflect on our challenges and key learnings.
You can hear Dr. Al-Sulaiti speak in the Keynote CxO panel on Day 2 of the event, April 23rd:
12.00 Keynote CxO Panel: What’s the Business Case for Bringing Fibre to the Home?
- Current progress with connecting fibre to the home and the plan for going forward – Comparison of current and future services from different operators
- The cost side of the equation – how much cheaper and faster are the other options in comparison to FTTH, but also in combination with it?
- Technical impediments to FTTH becoming reality – what can be done to speed up the progress?
- How will the next generation of GPON technology affect Fibre to the home?
- Vendors’ and operators’ viewpoints on the expected ROI of FTTH – Considering the business case
Amjad Khan, Managing Director and CEO, Bangla Phone
Ahmed Al-Sulaiti, CTO, Qatar National Broadband Network, Qatar
Ognen Firfov, Chief Sales Director, Makedonski Telekom/Deutsche Telekom Group
Ove Alm, CEO, Skanova