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ICYMI: key developments from Capacity Middle East 2022

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As Capacity Middle East comes to a close, Capacity magazine rounds up the must-follow developments from the last five days.

The 2022 event saw a series of major developments, highlighting the heightened activity across the region. Headlines included the launch of Alliance Networks; major developments for connectivity in Iraq; new PoPs for GCX and STC Bahrain; and the formation of a new carrier brand; while Edgnex is building a data centre in Riyadh and has appointed JLL to handle FM across its portfolio.

The conference sessions making headlines included How to successfully upgrade capacity of subsea routes and the day one keynote, which concluded that it's time for carriers to 'rise above the dumb pipe' and enter into the world of softwarisation. Elsewhere, delegates heard that latency is the new currency.

With news continuing to break, here are the updates from the last day of the show:

GTT expands IP network with Arc

GTT and Arc have established a network-to-network interconnect (NNI) between GTT’s global Tier 1 network and Arc Solutions’ Middle East network at the Datamena facility in Dubai.

GTT said the interconnect would enhance its economies of scale for its enterprise service offering in the region by leveraging Arc Solutions’ point-of-presence locations in UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Pakistan.

GTT's enterprise service offering spans internet services and managed SD-WAN.

“We are continuously seeking opportunities to expand the reach of our global IP network to meet demand while we also focus on ways to operate it more efficiently to benefit our customers,” stated Don MacNeil, GTT COO. “Our network and data center provider partners are an important element of our value proposition, and we are pleased to partner with Arc Solutions to strengthen our service offering in the Middle East region, which includes secure internet and software-defined wide area networking solutions.”

Zain South Sudan names digital BSS transformation partner

Zain South Sudan will turn to Tecnotree as it updates its BSS infrastructure.

Zain South Sudan has worked with Tecnotree in the past and will now use Tecnotree's complete range of BSS Suite products and services. The full stack deployment will enable Zain's advance customer experience, convergent billing and charging solutions, and other key solutions including quick time to market with a new unified product catalogue.

Khalid Abdalla, Zain South Sudan CEO said, “We are looking forward to this partnership with Tecnotree, which will help us update our BSS infrastructure in order to unlock our digital transformation strategy. This implementation will be a first step towards facilitating our business processes efficiently, and achieving our goals to provide innovative services to our customers.”

Padma Ravichander, CEO Tecnotree Corporation, stated, “We are delighted about winning this deal and are eager to embark on this new transformation journey with Zain South Sudan. It is a testament to Tecnotree’s growth and expansion as well as our commitment to using our market-proven framework of products and services to provide premium digital experiences. This is yet another chapter in our success story and gives us the motivation to continue providing our clients with state-of-the-art products and solutions.”

e& deploys Netcracker Edge Orchestration

Continuing the digital transformation theme, e& has deployed Netcracker Edge Orchestration to innovate with 5G and new edge services in vertical markets, with a focus on enterprise customers in the UAE.

Etisalat UAE, from e& will create new business value for its enterprise customers in the UAE by automating cloud-native 5G core resources and mission-critical multi-access edge computing (MEC) applications through hosting on distributed hyperscaler edge cloud platforms.

“From day one, our priority has been to find solutions that enable us to bring innovative and differentiating edge services to diverse vertical markets and ultimately transform the way our customers operate,” said Khalid Murshed, chief technology and information officer at Etisalat UAE.

“With Netcracker’s advanced Edge Orchestration solution, we can deliver our mission-critical edge services on demand and help customers from any industry to drastically increase their process efficiency, optimize business performance and unlock new opportunities.”

Turk Telecom International and  ULAK present SD-WAN solution

In more news in the SD-WAN space, TT International (TTI) – the international arm of Türk Telekom Group – and ULAK Communications have unveiled a new product, uMAYA SD-WAN.

Developed by ULAK Communication with the utilisation of domestic software developed by Turkish engineers – TTI will support its corporate customers in the international market and manage their wide area networks in a secure, cost-oriented, innovative and efficient way.

The two said uMAYA SD-WAN includes the multi-tenancy features needed in the corporate market, as well as critical features such as creating policies at the application level, determining a route to keep the service quality at the desired level, providing advanced record controls and creating a high availability structure.

TTI general manager Şükrü Kutlu: “We are proud and happy to start our extensive work to present the uMAYA SD-WAN solution developed by our Turkish engineers to end users in the international arena and to offer our customers this product experience within the framework of our cooperation with ULAK Communications. With the synergy we have created between our organizations, I believe we will increase our business impact by adding significant value to the digitalization journey of our customers.”

ULAK previously developed Turkey’s first domestic 4G/LTE base stations.

Bahrain plans technology park

Bahrain's Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications has recruited STC Bahrain to co-develop a new technology park in in Al-Qurain, Bahrain.

STC Bahrain is to lease 55,000 square meters of land from the government to develop the project, which will focus on "uplifting local talent within the tech field". Furthermore, it will offer benefits to local citizens through the localised storage of data that will be closer to end users.

HE Eng. Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications, said: “We are pleased with the launch of such an initiative which serves in achieving the objectives of the Fifth National Telecommunications Plan and the recently launched ICT and Digital Economy Strategy which aims at further developing the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector in the Kingdom in line with various initiatives put forth to achieve the Kingdom’s comprehensive development goals, led by HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and in establishing a world-class digital infrastructure.”

The two have pledged it will be "one of the first initiatives in energy efficiency, driving local innovation towards the use of renewable energy".

STC extends partnerships with Virgin Mobile KSA and CTG

Virgin Mobile KSA has extended its access agreement with STC, under which STC will continue to provide MVNO services "along with some new terms" which reflect the ongoing shift to digital services. While they weren't detailed, they are intended to provide "more strength and capabilities to answer the local market demand now and in the future".

The extended agreement was signed by Mohammed Alabbadi, chief wholesale officer of STC and Yaroob Al-Sayegh, CEO of Virgin Mobile KSA.

Al-Sayegh said: “Extending the agreement with stc will provide powerful growth opportunities and development tools, as well as the capacity to expand our services and products. We plan to move into new technology fields in the local market, with the aim of doubling our existing customer base and enhancing our consumers’ experience.”

Meanwhile, China Telecom Global (CTG) has also turned to STC as the two launched a new PoP at Mena Gateway in Jeddah.

It will allow CTG's global and Asian multinational enterprise customers to directly access their Saudi Arabia branches. It also serves as an exchange node for network capacity in the region to connect Middle East, Europe, and Africa.

Dayong Zhang, CTO at China Telecom (Africa and Middle East) Ltd stated: “The establishment of our PoP in KSA marks a key milestone in our growth journey. This PoP in the Middle East region has provided a solid foundation for businesses in KSA, especially for those planning to expand to Asia-Pacific, to enjoy fast and reliable connectivity to the region that powers their business. Likewise, it will also serve as a digital gateway for Chinese business to expand their footprint in the KSA market, creating huge potential for businesses in both regions. Furthermore, the new facility will strengthen our partnership with stc to establish a digital pathway for supporting our customers to embrace the digital economy. We look forward to continuing working with stc and elevating our partnership to the next level in the future.”

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