Mobily, Samsung sign SAR 375m deal to build largest WiMAX network in the Middle East
Mobily, the largest 3.75G mobile operator and wireless broadband provider in the Middle East and North Africa, and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., a leading provider of telecom systems and mobile phones, signed a second expansion agreement worth SAR 375 million. According to the terms of the deal, high-speed broadband service will be extended to 20 cities in the Kingdom through Bayanat Al Oula, a subsidiary of Mobily.
Mobily has blazed the trail of wireless broadband in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with its customer-centric high speed packet access (HSPA)-based service available throughout the Kingdom with coverage in more than 220 cities, towns and areas.
Last year, Mobily formalized its acquisition of Bayanat Al-Oula, a leading Saudi data communication provider and with it continued the expansion of the latter’s WiMAX Wave1 network in the four major cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Al Khobar.
Today, as part of that aggressive strategy of bringing wireless broadband services and rapidly increasing broadband penetration in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mobily is expanding the WiMAX network of its subsidiary Bayanat Al Oula with WiMAX Wave2.
“We understand how anxiousness consumers and businesses in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are to get fast and reasonably priced broadband service in a convenient manner,” said Khalid Al Kaf, Mobily’s managing director and Chief Executive Officer.
“We believe that providing broadband using wireless technology can enable fast delivery of service and as such offer both HSPA-based and WiMAX-based broadband service,” he added.
Branded broadband@home, Mobily’s WiMAX service will not only be the only Wave2-based service in the region, but is already the first prepaid WiMAX service in the Middle East and North Africa region, launched based on WiMAX Wave1 technology in September 2008.
The service is popular and has prompted Mobily to expand its coverage and use Wave2 technology and continue with Samsung, the current infrastructure partner.
Samsung will provide WiMAX Wave2 products including base station, access service network gateways and all the related equipments as well as services. Especially, U-RAS Flexible base station, which is the most suitable for flexible WiMAX network configuration due to its separated design of Radio unit and Digital unit.
Mobily plans to begin its first WiMAX Wave2 commercial service in 2010 and will expand nationwide in the next several years.
“Samsung is very pleased to keep on with Mobily’s WiMAX Wave2 business following successful delivery of WiMAX Wave1 service,” said Woonsub Kim, Executive Vice President and head of Telecom Systems Division at Samsung Electronics.
“We will invest all our efforts into making Mobily the main driver for leading technology adoption and evolution in the Middle East,” he added.
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