Qatar has all the potential and opportunity to become a leader in broadband services, an expert attending the Telecommunications Regulatory Conference 2014 said in Doha yesterday.
Speaking on the topic of ‘Challenges and Opportunities in Broadband’, Laurent Benzoni, professor of Economics at Sorbonne University and founder of Tera Consultant, France, said that Qatar had a lot of strength in this regard.
“Qatar is ranked at 10 in the Data Risk Index of 2013 ahead of many leading countries such as Switzerland, Korea and France. But it lost four positions between 2012 and 2013.”
“The other best criteria for the country are energy, per capita GDP and the corporate tax. Qatar ranks number one in energy resources as well as in per capita GDP. It ranks number two in corporate tax. These are great opportunities for the country,” he added.
He pointed out that there is a great mix between energy and information. “The virtual world of information needs real infrastructures such as servers, routers, commuters, bridges, calculators and processors. Information technologies account for more than 10% of world electrical consumption. This is where Qatar can score well, with its immense energy potential.”
However, he pointed out that the major problem that the country faces is the international internal bandwidth. “Qatar ranks 30th in this regard. Similarly, Qatar is ranked 30th in sustainability as well as in water availability as per the Data Risk Index 2013.”
Prof Benzoni was quick to add that Qatar could easily improve its ranking by setting up a data centre hub making use of its energy sources. “This can be done by producing power with thermodynamic solar plant and not by photovoltaic cell. Similarly cooling installations can be done not with water but using gas.”
He suggested that Qatar can overcome the challenges through two steps to ensure the competitive advantage in the information age. “Qatar must accelerate and achieve the deployment of Next Generation Access (NGA) Networks and improve interconnections with the main routes of the global Internet network. It must also guarantee an easy, equal and competitive access to these networks for insuring the development of services.”
Prof. Benzoni highlighted that the resources required for efficient global services in the information age are local NGA Networks and big data centres to host a maximum of information and services. Large intercontinental interconnections with very high bandwidth availability are another ingredient.
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