Alcatel-Lucent upgrades Saudi Arabia IP backhaul

Zain KSA selects Alcatel-Lucent for major IP backhaul upgrade in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

August 24, 2011

Alcatel-Lucent today announced that Zain Saudi Arabia, a leading mobile operator in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has selected Alcatel-Lucent’s IP/MPLS-based mobile backhaul solution to respond to the sharp increase in bandwidth requirements, and to keep pace with subscribers’ demands.

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 Alcatel-Lucent 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, delivering service innovation, streamlining network operations and generating new revenues for the operator.  As part of the Alcatel-Lucent’s High Leverage Network architecture, the solution will offer to Zain an increased capacity at lower cost while providing the necessary service reliability and quality of experience that subscribers expect, while it will strengthen the ability of Zain KSA to offer its customers the best possible quality of experience and also prepare its network infrastructure to immediately launch next generation communication and data services.

“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.  “Through our competitive vendor selection process, Alcatel-Lucent demonstrated that they are ready to deliver innovative, cost-effective, state-of-the art technology and deliver financial value to Zain KSA.”

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. Our industry-leading mobile backhaul solution, which has helped service providers worldwide transform their networks to all-IP, will enable Zain KSA to economically and efficiently upgrade its infrastructure”.

As part of this project, Alcatel-Lucent is deploying its 7750 Service Router (SR) and 7705 Service Aggregation Router (SAR) along with the Alcatel-Lucent 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM) and the Alcatel-Lucent 5650 Control Plane Assurance Manager (CPAM). The Alcatel-Lucent IP portfolio will make it possible for Zain KSA to deliver scalable, evolvable, cost-efficient and fully managed IP-based transport able to adapt to the expected increase in core traffic for years to come and to the advances brought about by the introduction of fourth-generation mobile technology.

Furthermore, Zain KSA has selected Alcatel-Lucent to provide comprehensive turnkey network-related services, including consulting, design, software integration, installation and commissioning, within the frame of this contract.

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