Nokia has won a managed services and 3G/HSPA network deal with mobily, a brand of Etihad Etisalat Company (EEC), in Saudi Arabia. The contract marks a new customer for Nokia in an important growth market, and highlights Nokia's leadership in supplying and managing superior networks infrastructure.
Under the agreement, Nokia will provide as a managed service (build-operate-transfer) network optimization, operation and maintenance, care and hardware services and training. In addition, Nokia will provide installation, commissioning, integration, project management, network planning. The network will be supported by the multi-vendor proven Nokia NetAct(TM) network and service management system.
Nokia will supply its 3G radio and core network technology, including the Nokia High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) solution, and Nokia UltraSite base station subsystem to help keep the cost of ownership and operation of the network to a minimum, allowing services to be priced competitively. Nokia will also deliver its MSC Server mobile softswitch and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) for fixed and mobile solution from its Unified Core Networks portfolio to provide mobily with a high capacity and cost-effective means to provide voice and IP-based services. The deliveries have already started and the network should be operational in July.
"We are excited to extend our mobile service offering to fast and high-quality 3G and HSDPA services. Our customers will be able to enjoy fast music downloads and mobile Internet access," says Eng. Abdul aziz Al-Tamami, Chief Operating Officer, mobily. "We chose Nokia - among other vendors - to supply and manage their cutting edge 3G/HSDPA network because we are confident that Nokia's solutions will help us to respond to customer requirements in the increasingly competitive Saudi market. We are extremely pleased with Nokia's fast network roll-out and comprehensive services support."
"Nokia is strongly committed to the Middle East and Africa markets and it is our pleasure to extend that commitment to our cooperation with mobily in Saudi Arabia," said Walid Moneimne, Senior Vice President, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa region, Networks, Nokia. "Nokia's solutions and services will let mobily develop its service offering to meet the growing demand for access to information, services and entertainment easier and faster than before, on the go."
Nokia is a leader in bringing mobility to New Growth Markets. Nokia estimates the number of mobile subscribers to grow to three billion in 2008, and around 80 percent of this growth will come from fast-growing markets such as Saudi Arabia. Nokia expects that Middle-East and Africa will account for 20 percent of the next billion subscribers.
Nokia's Managed Services business is a key part of its Services business unit, and a core part of the company's drive to help operators enhance their service offerings and reduce costs. To date Nokia has 40 managed services contracts in 31 countries, and it expects this figure to grow in the coming years.
In WCDMA 3G, Nokia has 60 customers to date. Nokia's high-performing HSDPA is a simple software upgrade to Nokia WCDMA networks, thus enabling cost-effective and fast rollout. In the first phase, Nokia HSDPA offers up to four times faster data services than current 3G, and consequently enhanced quality of service experience. Nokia is a leader in the HSDPA market, with over 20 contracts globally, many of which are in commercial use. Several network operators have already opened their HSDPA networks with the Nokia HSDPA.
Nokia is creating seamless user experiences in converging networks thanks to mobile softswitching and IMS for fixed and mobile. With close to 100 customers for its mobile softswitching, Nokia has delivered the majority of the world's commercial 3GPP-compliant mobile softswitching. Nokia is also the front-runner in IMS for fixed and mobile networks, with over 85 references for IMS solutions, such as Push to talk over Cellular, while paving the way for network renewal with IMS-based voice and applications in fixed networks.