By Mark Sutton
Motorola to provide network infrastructure, planning and support to extend Atheeb's broadband services in Saudi
Etihad Atheeb Telecommunication Company (Atheeb) has awarded a $165 million contract to Motorola for a WiMAX network for Saudi Arabia. The WiMAX 802.16e network will be used to provide broadband services across the kingdom.
Motorola will provide both network infrastructure, including its new WAP 800 access points, and planning and support services to Atheeb. Motorola will also provide financing for a portion of the deal.
Ali Amer, vice president, Middle East, Africa and Pakistan, Motorola Home & Networks Mobility said: "Motorola is delighted to be working side by side with Atheeb to address the appetite of Saudi customers for high-speed communications. This will be delivered utilizing Motorola's leading, cost-effective, and proven WiMAX 802.16e technology and services. Users demand connectivity whether they're at home or in the office, and Motorola is excited to work with Atheeb to meet this from concept to reality."
Why does the Arab world insist in spending its money on things that are just plain mistakes? $165 million on a technology that has yet to see the light of success or even the sound of usefulness, other than on paper. It is like these companies with their owners read a piece of an article in some newspaper and buy whatever they see ignoring the process of researching the product and studying a real strategic plan from A to Z; they start from A and stop F! WiMAX by far has been a failure in almost every city it is deployed in (I say almost because if you are lucky enough to have the "perfect" city footprint you might get what you want, otherwise you are doomed with false expectations just like what will happen in KSA); high costs, bad coverage and worst of all: bad support by the companies that deploy this technology, including Motorola; basically they build a WiMAX network then find out that maintaining it and solving its after-installation problems makes it one of the worst technologies to deploy. One of the recent WiMAX bad experiences comes from not other than Garth Freeman, CEO of Australia's first WiMAX operator. His company, Buzz Broadband, had deployed a WiMAX network over a year ago, and Freeman left no doubt about what conclusions he had drawn. He claimed that 'its non-line of sight performance was "non-existent" beyond just 2 kilometers from the base station, indoor performance decayed at just 400m and that latency rates reached as high as 1000 milliseconds. Poor latency and jitter made it unacceptable for many Internet applications and specifically VoIP, which Buzz has employed as the main selling point to induce people to shed their use of incumbent services.' This doesn't mean that installing the WiMAX technology in KSA will be a bad experience but it is damn expansive and will cost a lot to keep it up and running the way it should run. So, good luck Arabs in not doing your homework, and having deals to deploy a technology that only sounds fantastic within a lot of restrictions that you will find out about after installing these WiMAX stations.
This is completely wrong perception about WiMAX.In Fact WimAX is a future technolgy and ahead of all upcoming 4G technologies.Telcos have to adopt new technologies to be at par with their competitors otherwise they would left behind.As far as WiMAX success is concerned, Wateen Telecom is example for those , Wateen WiMAX network is a great success in Pakistan and now with WiMAX wateen is ahead of all Wireless operators.