du turns to Cisco for IP core network upgrade

01 March 2018 | James Pearce


UAE-based du has announced a partnership with Cisco to build a future-proof IP core network in order to meet rising demand for bandwidth.

There were 428 million mobile connections in the Middle East in by the end of 2017, according to figures from the GSMA – up from 411 million the previous year. 33% of connections were 4G ready, a figure that was practically zero in 2013.

Rising demand for mobile services and greater bandwidth has led du to replace its existing IP core network with a scalable and 5G-ready infrastructure as it looks to reduce network complexity, it said.

The new IP core network, which will be supplied by Cisco, will increase capacity to 24Tb per node, enabling the operator to offer next generation digital services such as virtual reality, augmented reality, whilst also support 5G deployments and smart city services.

Cisco will modernise, expand and migrate du’s IP core network to virtualised and native cloud architecture that is 5G ready. 

Ali Amer, Cisco's managing director of global service provider for Middle East and Africa, said: "By working with Cisco, du's 5G-ready network will deliver a more virtual and far more scalable infrastructure that forms the foundation for future solutions and new business opportunities.”

du currently serves 9 million individual customers with its mobile, fixed line, broadband internet, and home services over its 4G LTE network. It also caters to over 100,000 UAE businesses with its vast range of ICT and managed services, and runs datamena – a data centre and connectivity solutions business.

Saleem Al Blooshi, EITC's Chief Infrastructure Officer, said: "du is already supporting the realisation of the UAE's Vision 2021 by empowering the digital economy and driving Dubai's transformation into a smart city. 5G is going to play an important role in that. 5G is a phased approach and we will continue with trials until we officially launch it. 

“With the deployment of a more scalable and agile network, we will be well-placed to support 5G, smart city services, the IoT and other new, innovative digital services."