Middle East ISPs slack during business hours: research

Internet Service Providers (ISP) in the Middle East are underperforming during work hours and hindering users’ business efficiency, according to new research from Brocade.

The research shows that 71 percent of home workers reported noticeable reduction in service performance during work hours, compared to non-work hours, and only 13 percent reported “complete satisfaction” with their current ISP.

With almost a quarter of employees working from home on a daily basis, lack of network performance is fast becoming a concern for businesses looking to empower a flexible workforce.

More than 70 percent of the respondents gauged the business impact of Internet downtime to be either high or severe.

“The option of working remotely means that an increasing number of corporate Internet users require faster connections in their homes,” said Sufian Dweik, MENA regional manager at Brocade.

“Almost 90 percent of respondents have subscribed to an unlimited download plan and, given that over half of the respondents estimate their average monthly usage to be more than three gigabytes, there is huge pressure on service provider networks to deliver.”

The survey, polling 521 respondents from a wide range of businesses across the region, found that 35 percent stated that they worked from home at least once a month, with a further 21 percent working from home on a daily basis.

More than 35 percent of participants reported a moderate increase in Internet usage over the past year, which they attributed to increased use of smartphones, Web 2.0 and multimedia content as well as the deployment of more business applications on Internet platforms.

Two-thirds of participants cited lower cost as the main reason behind their intentions to change their service provider, whilst half stated higher reliability as their motivation behind any future change in provider.

“The high charges for Internet services in the region can be attributed to the high operational costs that ISPs face. The fluctuating nature of broadband access means that ISPs often end up investing heavily to ensure that networks match the demand during peak windows,” Dweik said.


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