Saudi Arabian operator Mobily, partially owned by UAE operator Etisalat, has awarded Cambridge Broadband Networks a significant contract for the provision of its VectaStar, point-to-multipoint, microwave backhaul platform. The operator is using VectaStar in the licensed 26 GHz spectrum band to backhaul its 3G HSPA network and expand its coverage nationwide. The initial deployment is in Saudi Arabia’s capital city, Riyadh, with installations also underway in the Western Region (Jeddah, Mekah and Medinah) and the Eastern Province (Al-Khobar, Dammam and Dhahran).

After a thorough benchmarking against legacy point-to-point technologies, Mobily selected VectaStar because it provides significantly greater capacity within the same spectrum allocation. Its future-proof architecture also gives the operator the confidence to invest in an infrastructure in line with its plans for rapid growth in data services. The system has also proved to be flexible and fast to deploy in other installations in the region.

“Our HSPA network continues to grow quickly, and our backhaul network needs to be able to cope with rapidly increasing data traffic,” said Nasser Al-Nasser, Mobily’s CTO-MRN. “VectaStar provides us with the capacity and scalability we need to get new services to our customers before our competitors. It is unique in its ability to optimize and statistically-multiplex mobile broadband data traffic from our 3.75G base stations. Furthermore, its support for a wide variety of traffic protocols gives us great confidence in its ability to support our current and future ventures.”

Kamel Kaddoumi, Regional Manager, Middle East of Cambridge Broadband Networks, commented, “Mobily has been offering third generation services for more than two years now and as one of the Middle East’s fastest-moving operators it needs a backhaul network that can grow to satisfy the increasing demand for advanced services. This latest agreement further validates the VectaStar point-to-multipoint platform’s ability to meet mobile operators’ needs for flexible and scalable backhaul infrastructure.”