interview


Orange Jordan: “We are seeing expanding demand for broadband in rural areas”

Nayla Khawam, CEO of Orange Jordan

Nayla Khawam, CEO of Orange Jordan, talks about the country’s increasing demand for broadband, even in rural areas, and the key applications which are driving this growth.

What major developments have there been for the broadband industry in the MEA region this past year?

The most significant development has definitely been the increase in speeds and the expansion of broadband networks. At Orange, our broadband network is now producing speeds of up to 24 Mbps.

While our 3G+ network can now transmit content at up to 20 Mbps, there is still a demand for faster broadband connections that include the convenience of fixed-line phone service.

We are also seeing expanding demand for broadband in rural areas, which bodes well for the future of Jordan’s telecom industry, as well as the general development of the country.

Are broadband networks finally catching up with the technological aspirations of consumers, businesses and public bodies?

Absolutely. While there are certainly challenges remaining, we have come a long way in relation to other countries with a longer history of Internet use. I believe that Jordan is approaching the mindset where the idea of parity with these countries is no longer an unattainable goal.

In order to provide the best services for customers, Orange has taken steps to provide segmented services which are specialised to the client. For example, we have a highly specialised Business Enterprise Unit that provides integrated telecom services – including high-speed broadband Internet – to our business clients based on their needs. We have also been contracted by government departments to provide communications solutions.

At the same time, we are getting broadband Internet into the homes of individual subscribers with a greater geographical reach than ever before. There is no longer the concern that Jordan is missing out on the Internet revolution. Believe me, we are right in the middle of it!

Will consumers ever fill their super-fast broadband pipes?

Yes and no. Most of our consumers are going to be satisfied with the high-speed broadband Internet connection that we are currently providing. Our customers can stream HD video, take advantage of international video calling, and share rich multimedia content quickly.

That being said, there is always going to be a minority of largely young, tech-savvy individuals who are going to push the limits of the connection speed and bandwidth. At Orange we always consider this demanding consumer group, because if we can satisfy them, we can satisfy anyone.

What do you think will prove the killer application that creates demand for super-fast broadband?

Orange provides a wide range of wired and wireless broadband that keeps the customer connected all the time with their family, friends or business, even on the go. For fixed broadband, we think that applications like gaming, Web TV, live streaming, on-demand video, cloud computing and live sharing will be some of the major ones.

In terms of wireless broadband, its growth will be mainly linked to the introduction of new devices like tablets, notebooks and smartphones, which allow the customer to communicate and use new features that are provided by manufacturers and applications developers.

These new features include social networking, people hubs, mobile TV, streaming, personal cloud computing (for example access to their Google+ account or Sky Drive from Microsoft): those will be some of killer applications that we are sure to encounter in the near future.

Nayla will be speaking at the Broadband World Forum MEA 2012 event taking place in Dubai on 25-27 March, 2012. For more information and to register, please visit http://mea.broadbandworldforum.com

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