Saudi operator upgrades backhaul capabilities with new solution

One of Saudi Arabia’s largest operators is implementing a new mobile backhaul solution in response to a sharp increase in bandwidth requirements. Zain Saudi Arabia is deploying Alcatel-Lucent’s IP/MPLS-based solution to keep pace with subscriber demand.

Saudi Arabia is widely recognized as the largest telecommunications market in the Middle East region, with growth in this sector currently estimated at about 30 percent per annum.  A recent report by the Riyadh-based Economics Studies House, commissioned by the MTN Group, showed that the penetration rate of mobile phones in Saudi Arabia could grow from the current 32 percent to 60 percent by 2014, with over 20 million subscribers.

The report noted that this would not only require a rapid rollout of capacity to service almost 13 million new lines over the coming nine years, but would also require dramatic increases in network coverage and service availability to meet demand in the Kingdom.

The new solution offers a converged, scalable, multi-access and all-IP network allowing dynamic service creation and delivery at the lowest cost per bit while enabling broadband accessibility to all Zain KSA subscribers, streamlining network operations. It will also provide Zain with increased capacity at lower cost.

“Zain KSA looks forward to working with Alcatel-Lucent on this important network evolution project designed not only to improve the customer experience with a reliable and stable network, but also to take our customers to the next level of mobility and beyond,” said Dr. Saad Al Barrak Zain KSA CEO & Managing Director.

Amr El Leithy, Head of Alcatel-Lucent’s activities in the Middle East and Africa said: “Through Alcatel-Lucent IP/MPLS mobile backhaul solution, Zain KSA will dramatically simplify operations, reduce operating expenditures, as well as offer its customers the highest quality and most advanced wireless IP services.”

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