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Fri 17 Nov 2006 08:00 PM

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Huawei picked to build Etisalat UMTS network across the UAE

Chinese firm will also work with operator to expand 3G service

ETISALAT has chosen Huawei to implement the telco’s nationwide UMTS/HSPA network in the UAE and help it expand its 3G offering.

The Chinese infrastructure provider will supply Etisalat with the new generation UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) equipment including more than 1,000 Node-B base stations for the construction of the network.

The network will be the first HSPA network based on Iub IP (Interface UMTS B/Internet Protocol) transmission in the Middle East and North Africa, the Chinese firm claimed.

Nasser Salim, general manager, Etisalat Network Planning, said the network had a “significant strategic implication” for Etisalat, adding that it “set the ground for global expansion of our 3G development”.

“Huawei’s innovative solutions offer us the competitive advantage and will help us consolidate our leadership in the global 3G marketplace,” Salim commented.

Etisalat started offering 3G in the UAE at the end of 2003, building its UMTS network again with Huawei. The new contract represents an extension of the two companies’ three-year partnership.

“Huawei is pleased to work with Etisalat as its major supplier for its UMTS/HSPA network,” said Wang Jiading, vice president, Huawei Technologies Middle East and North Africa operations. “We are committed to helping Etisalat build a quality UMTS/HSPA network, and create maximum value for our customers through innovative solutions and services,” he added.

Huawei said it won the contract due to the distinctive technology advantages of IP RAN (Radio Access Network) and HSPA, which enabled it to stand out from the other six companies in the bidding process. Its UMTS equipment has a high-efficiency power amplifier and multi-carrier technologies, the company said.

In addition to the UAE, Etisalat and Huawei have been working on other projects in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Etisalat, which is for the moment the sole provider of telecommunication services in the UAE, has networks covering more than 14 countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.

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