Umniah awards US$3 million IP telephony deal to HP Middle East

HP has won a contract worth up to US$3 million with Umniah Mobile, Jordan’s latest GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) operator, to provide it with an internet protocol (IP) telephony system.

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By  Peter Branton Published  March 20, 2005

HP has won a contract worth up to US$3 million with Umniah Mobile, Jordan’s latest GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) operator, to provide it with an internet protocol (IP) telephony system. In addition to providing the Jordanian operator with servers and storage systems, HP will also integrate Umniah’s mediation and billing systems. Umniah, which is planning to launch in June 2005, is Jordan’s third GSM operator. HP was selected ahead of a number of other IT companies and systems integrators to provide its IT infrastructure, which will include an IP telephony call centre. HP will work with Cisco and telecoms equipment maker Intracom on the project. Joseph Hanania, managing director of HP Middle East, said the company had won the bid against the “usual suspects”, referencing IBM, Sun Microsystems, Wipro and other systems integrators. “HP is supporting Umniah with the services infrastructure to allow a telco to operate efficiently and bring value-added services to market as quickly as possible,” he said. Central to Umniah’s ambitions is the IP telephony call centre HP will implement, as it will allow the operator’s staff to work remotely. “The home agent concept is key for us, as we can engage individuals to provide these services for us from their homes,” said Michael Dagher, partner & chief executive officer of Umniah. “Many people, such as housewives, don’t want to go into work in an office, so this is very good for us.” Service level agreements were still being discussed between HP and Umniah as IT Weekly went to press, according to Hanania. However, he described the deal as “a strategic partnership” for HP. “We’re taking a risk because everything we commit to, we have to develop on time and we have to develop to the quality they’re looking for,” Hanania added. Dagher, who worked with HP on a IP-telephony call centre implementation when he was CEO of Jordan telco Fastlink, said he had complete confidence in HP. Indeed, Umniah is already considering further deals with HP, in particular the adoption of its flagship network management software, OpenView. “We will be trailing this at a later stage,” said Dagher. “The next six months or so will be the right time for us to start discussing these issues.” Umniah’s core network infrastructure is being developed in partnership with networking giant Huawei Technologies. The Chinese firm is providing infrastructure equipment and network services fully ready for Umniah’s migration to 3G technology (see IT Weekly, 5-11 March 2005).

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