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Mobily uses CBN point-to-multipoint to backhaul growing 3.75G HSPA

 Cambridge Broadband Networks has won the contract to supply Saudi Arabia’s Mobily with its VectaStar point-to-multipoint, microwave backhaul platform. The platform is expected to play a significant part in Mobily’s ambitious infrastructure plans...

Saudi Arabian operator Mobily, partially owned by UAE operator Etisalat, has awarded Cambridge Broadband Networks (CBN) a significant contract for the provision of its VectaStar, point-to-multipoint, microwave backhaul platform. Mobily will use VectaStar in the licensed 26GHz spectrum band to backhaul its 3G high speed packet access (HSPA) network. The initial deployment was in Saudi Arabia’s capital city Riyadh in 2008, with installations also underway in the Western Region (Jeddah, Mekah and Medinah) and the Eastern Province (Al-Khobar, Dammam and Dhahran) as part of its plans to expand its VectaStar network nationwide.
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” gives Mobily the confidence to invest in an infrastructure perfectly in line with its plans for rapid growth in data services. 
“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 optimise 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.” 
Mobily’s claims that its mobile data network is the busiest in the world, with 800,000 HSPA subscribers signing up in 18 months and 3..75G HSPA service coverage reaching 326 cities, regions and areas in the Kingdom, covering 75% of the population. In 2005, Mobily became the first Saudi 3G mobile operator; by 2006 Mobily subscribers had soared to 6 million and the company was described by the GSM World Association as the fastest growing operator in the MENA region. Today it has in excess of 11 million subscribers. 
CBN’s value added reseller, WiConnect, is responsible for the systems integration of Mobily’s VectaStar network.
 * CBN, a member of the Next Generation Mobile Network (NGMN), provides telecommunications operators with carrier-class wireless point-to-multipoint transmission equipment. Its products have been commercially deployed and technically proven in more than 30 countries, and the company continues to expand into new geographical markets as wireless networks become more widespread throughout the world. Privately-held, Cambridge Broadband Networks has headquarters in Cambridge, UK, with offices in the Middle East (location to be announced soon), Malaysia and South Africa and manufacturing facilities in China.
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