Fibre network upgrade boosting Saudi broadband services

 Residential and business customers in Saudi Arabia will soon have access to fixed broadband services using Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology via a nationwide fibre network...

Residential and business customers in Saudi Arabia will soon have access to fixed broadband services using Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology via a nationwide fibre network. Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), one of the Kingdom’s leading mobile voice and data service providers, is implementing Zhone’s MXK Optical Line Termination (OLT) to offer the services; the solution will also be used to provision business services and transport mobile backhaul network traffic.

Saudi Arabia remains one of the biggest and fastest growing economies in the Middle East. Currently, fixed telephony lines stand at 4.5 million with over 3.4 million lines in residences and homes, representing roughly 69% of the households in the Kingdom. Fixed broadband subscriptions stood at over 2 million subscribers at the end of June 2011, representing over 33% of the household penetration. Currently, over 80% of the fixed broadband users are using xDSL for their broadband services in the Kingdom.

The solution will allow consumers to access affordable and reliable high-speed Internet, as well as advanced video services. Mobily plans to leverage the MXK OLT to backhaul part of the 2G and 3G traffic for its over 18 million mobile subscribers in the Kingdom. The operator’s network covers all cities and major towns in the Kingdom and more than 22,000 km of highways.

“The scalability and density of Zhone’s MXK gives us the unprecedented flexibility, robust network control and the ability to offer more bandwidth to customers with greater efficiency,” said Salah ALamoudi, VP Transmission Mobily. “Our established wireless presence and our expansive fixed broadband plans necessitated a multi-service platform choice with high scalability, density, reliability and interoperability.”

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