Wider wireless communication for Yemen

Intracom’s wireless access platform delivers voice and data services to the country’s rural population.

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By  Sarah Gain Published  March 20, 2005

Intracom, one of the world’s largest providers of telecommunications, information and defence electronic systems, has been awarded the contract to deliver and deploy an infrastructure upgrade for Yemen’s largest telecommunications operator, Public Telecommunication Corporation (PTC). PTC, Yemen’s largest fixed phone provider has five million subscribers, and requires a solution that will provide the population of three rural districts - Khamir, Aldalea, and Al Qubaita - with data, internet access, and both mobile and fixed voice services. Yemen’s topography and mountainous terrain poses specific challenges that need to be overcome by Intracom’s solution. “We have to opt for tried and tested telecommunications technology that mitigates the need to lay actual cables,” says Ali Ahmed Al-Seri, rural telecom manager for PTC. A team of Intracom engineers deployed an Intracom Wireless Access System (IAS-W), a digital system with point-to-multipoint (P-MP) architecture. The IAS-W system consists of a wireless central node (WCN), and multiple repeater remote network nodes that boost the transmission capacity to cover a territory of 700 square kilometres. The IAS-W system offers telecoms operators a number of advantages, including low initial investment costs and scalable deployment of network resources, short roll-out time, and performance flexibility. Running on a TDMA Frequency Division Duplex, the system’s features allow operators to deploy a network rapidly in a number of different topographies without the need to lay cables. The cost of establishing a traditional fibre network over the Yemen terrain would have been excessive according to Al-Seri, and PTC would not have been able to expand as rapidly as required with a wireless setup. “Our aim of expanding our fixed line network has been achieved, and with Intracom’s scalable technology we also have plans to rapidly build upon our mobile offerings and grow our subscriber base in this region.” Due to its P-MP architecture, the IAS-W is effectively configuration-insensitive and provides PTC in Yemen and other regional operators with a solution to satisfy any geography and environmental conditions. PTC now has a flexible infrastructure in place to offer superior mobile telephony services and stronger reception coverage to subscribers. PTC will also benefit from a number of other features built into the IAS-W solution. Fault detection and recovery mechanisms are incorporated, as is a fault tolerance function that allows the IAS-W to operate on a high reliability level. Monitoring devices provide continuous performance testing for real time analysis. “With the extra network capabilities at our disposal, our network will be more robust, fault tolerant, and scalable to meet future demands,” explains Al-Seri. “Secure repeater and terminal nodes will afford us the ability to roll out more voice and data services as user demand grows.” PTC’s ‘last-mile’ fixed phone drop connection, between homes and terminal nodes, consists of digital enhanced cordless telephony (DECT) terminals, providing a wireless link between the subscriber and the network. “Only a few years back, such advanced technology would only have been seen in the Europe. But with the moves that Intracom has made to bring high-end telephony to the Middle East, the region’s population can now stay connected no matter where they live,” says Jorge Soto, sales director, Intracom Middle East.

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