CNME sat down with Ahmed Salman Al-Sulaiti, Chief Technology Officer, Qatar National Broadband Network to find out how the firm plans to improve the nation’s broadband speeds in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030.
Tell me about your aim of “equipping Qatar with next-generation broadband infrastructure and progressing national broadband plans.”
This is a main initiative that is being undertaken to support communications and high-speed broadband services. Fiber optic cabling can be a barrier for operators who want to establish a nationwide service, but QNBN is aiming to support and provide the customer with choice, and to provide affordable broadband across Qatar, with open networks in competition with each other. We support cloud construction, but infrastructure is the main issue.
Fiber optic networks exist across the Middle East, will yours cover the whole of Qatar?
We’re focusing on areas where customers are in real need of improved infrastructure. We have a mandate to have a 95 percent completion rate of next-generation broadband in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030.
How do you see your infrastructure updates benefitting Qatar and the region as a whole?
The income of our infrastructure updates will not come to the company itself, but doubling broadban speeds should improve Qatar’s GDP and will contribute to a 0.3-0.4 percent increase year-over-year. Improved infrastructure will give Qatari businesses its education and health systems higher speed broadband which it needs for more demanding applications.
So you consider QNBN’s work to be an important part of Qatar 2030?
Absolutely. Giving high-speed broadband will give rise to greater human and environmental development as well as increasing business activity. In future, I believe that access to high-speed broadband will become a human right and this will trigger a requirement for its worldwide implantation.
What are the hottest cloud topics in the MENA region right now and how can CSOs prepare for them?
I think it is important for the region to agree on standards for SLAs and security, agreements need to be reached to achieve uniform standards, which will reduce cost and benefit the market. In terms of CSOs, I believe in the duplication of security via firewalls and hardware servers.