Major carriers and suppliers to meet at Gitex 2012′s Gulfcomms to discuss and adapt to rapid subscriber uptake year

Dubai: Industry experts believe that the next generation of advanced mobile telecommunications services, September 04, 2012 (Wam): ubaiIndustry experts believe that the next generation of advanced mobile telecommunications services, commonly known as 4G, is expected to continue spreading rapidly throughout Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia leading the way.

Ushered in with the advent of long term evolution (LTE) technology, 4G allows smartphone users to migrate from 3G’s largely voice-based offering to enjoy the super-high internet speeds – 150 Mbps downlink, 50 Mbps uplink – required to access massive volumes of video and data.

The 4G revolution and LTE technology will be among the key discussions at this year’s Gulfcomms, held at Gitex Technology Week 2012. Gitex Technology Week runs from October 14-18, 2012 at Dubai World Trade Centre. Gulfcomms is the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region’s largest and most important platform that focuses exclusively on the enterprise level telecoms sector.

As the largest business-to-business exhibition for the sector’s carriers, cable, fixed telecoms, Internet Protocol (IP) and satellite across the MEASA region, it opens unparalleled opportunities to solution providers in the fields of telecommunication networks, next generation networks, IP technology, satellite communications, infrastructure solutions, backhauling, and teleconferencing.

With a recent International Telecommunication Union (ITU) report noting that youth account for 60% of the population in the Arab world, it comes as no surprise that platforms such as video sharing and social media and smartphone applications are fast being adopted as a key part of a digital lifestyle. According to research powerhouse Gartner, the sale of smartphones grew 58% in 2011, with units sold worldwide in 2011 reaching 272 million – this accounts for 31% of all mobile device sales.

ITU states that Long Term Evolution (LTE) services, which involve wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals, were launched in the Middle East region in September last year in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, followed by Kuwait in December, and Bahrain in January 2012. Oman recently rolled out services in July of this year, and Qatar is expected to do the same within the next few months.

LTE is enjoying dynamic growth and uptake among global operators, including the UAE’s Etisalat and du, as its technology is easily merged with legacy mobile technologies, making the upgrade from 3G quick and cost-effective. According to the Global mobile Suppliers Association’s (GSA) Status of the LTE Ecosystem report, 347 LTE devices, including 64 smartphones, were launched as of March of this year by 63 different manufacturers. 2011 saw more than 8.2 million LTE enabled device shipments worldwide, with industry analysts expecting that number to reach 30 million by the end of 2012.

“Our participation at Gitex reaffirms our position as a leading telecommunications provider. It gives us the opportunity to speak directly to even more of our customers than ever, to understand what they need so that we can continue to innovate to better meet their requirements. A special attraction for us this year is the prestigious ITU telecom World 2012 we are supporting and participating in, apart from Gulfcomms and Gitex Shopper. We look forward to an eventful participation at Gitex Technology Week for the seventh consecutive year,” said Hala Badri, Executive Vice President Brand and Communication, du.

“We have several reasons for participating in Gitex, not least of which is to make our customers, both existing and potential, aware of the bouquet of services we offer, and interact with our peers in the industry. Every year we showcase our most innovative products on promising platforms such as 4G, to demonstrate the ways in which business can be simplified for our Enterprise customers, or to show individual customers how our value-added products can add to their communications experience,” Badri added.