Etisalat Converges Fiber and Wireless Networks With Zhone Equipment

  • FTTH
  • LTE
  • Wireless
  • Zhone
OAKLAND, CA — In a dramatic demonstration of the convergence of fiber and wireless networks, Middle Eastern operator Etisalat announced that it is using fiber access equipment from Zhone Technologies - the MXK intelligent terabit access concentrator - to backhaul its mobile data traffic, including traffic from its most recent LTE deployment.

Etisalat will use Zhone’s flagship MXK solution and FiberCell portfolio to enable a 1 Gigabit Ethernet link at each mobile radio base station as it transitions to advanced 4G wireless service throughout the United Arab Emirates. Using the same GPON platforms currently deployed throughout the United Arab Emirates to support Etisalat’s FTTH-based multiplay services, Etisalat will transition its circuit-based backhaul to next-generation fiber backhaul with minimal infrastructure overlay.

After completing a pilot LTE backhaul trial using the MXK system, Etisalat found that, by converging its mobile and fixed FTTH networks, it could offer higher backhaul capacity and also provide full, efficient backhaul coverage to any LTE site within reach of its FTTH network. By using this strategy, Etisalat could both minimize its network investment for backhaul services and achieve unprecedented mobile bandwidth capacity.

“Zhone's FTTx solution gives us unprecedented flexibility, scalability, robust network control and the ability to offer more bandwidth to customers with greater efficiency,” said Esmaeel Al-Hammadi, vice president of fixed access and radio networks, Etisalat. “Now, we are able to efficiently offload LTE services and provide efficient mobile backhaul utilizing our existing nationwide FTTH network. By utilizing our existing FTTH infrastructure for mobile backhaul, Zhone was able to help us quickly and cost-effectively launch LTE services at full bandwidth capacity and maximum Gigabit Ethernet line speed nationwide.”

The MXK's ability to support both active Ethernet and GPON simultaneously enabled Etisalat to configure its networks with maximum flexibility and efficiency. With advanced bandwidth-intensive applications growing rapidly and a critical need for fiber-based backhaul to support the additional bandwidth demand, Zhone FiberCell solution provides network reliability in a high-performance solution designed for operators’ 3G and 4G backhaul needs. As a result of its long-term investment in fixed-access FTTH, Etisalat will continue extending the Zhone FiberCell solution to its LTE sites with the benefits of reduced deployment costs and efficient time to market.

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