Connecting to the Cloud: Cost of the Last Mile

Date of publishing: December 13, 2021
Authors: MENACA Connectivity Working Group
Countries covered in this report: Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates
No of pages: 24
Document ID: 20221EHW02/CN/WP


Dubai, UAE, December 13, 2021

Cost of last-mile connectivity in our region is much more expensive compared to the US or Europe. 

The importance of cloud computing as an enabler for digital transformation has long been discussed and proven. However, as transformative as the cloud is, it requires a high-quality, reliable and affordable underlying infrastructure to be able to live up to its true potential. For the past few years, MENA Cloud Alliance (MENACA) has been engaging major cloud ecosystem stakeholders including enterprises in a series of dialogues to understand local pain points and in turn address those issues with the help of the community.

Connectivity prices have long been deemed expensive in our region compared to those in Europe or North America, and in various conversations with cloud customers as well as cloud service providers, a pattern started to emerge. Most businesses require dedicated connectivity – commonly called the ‘ last mile’ connectivity – from their premises to cloud service providers. Suppliers of this last mile connectivity are telecoms companies and other service providers who can provide the required bandwidth and service-level agreements (SLAs).

We noticed that extremely costly last mile connectivity options slowed down or even completely stalled cloud migration and consequently digital transformation projects. The recurrence of this theme in our interactions with the community prompted MENACA to investigate the issue further. 

This report lays out the results of a study undertaken by the MENA Cloud Alliance (MENACA) on the impact of last mile connectivity costs on cloud adoption in the GCC.


  1. Preface
  2. Executive Summary
  3. The GCC Digital Transformation Imperative
  4. Industry Sentiment 
  5. Domestic & International Connectivity 
  6. Cloud Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Model
  7. Recommendations
  8. Appendix I: Survey Questions 
  9. Appendix II: TCO Model Assumptions 
  10. Appendix III: Limitations & Mitigation Methods
  11. References 
  12. About MENA Cloud Alliance

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