Mecca precincts to get converged IP network

A colossal multimedia converged internet protocol (IP) network is being constructed as part of important plans to upgrade the precincts surrounding Mecca’s Grand Mosque, the epicentre of the Muslim world.

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By  Chris Whyatt Published  January 29, 2006

A colossal multimedia converged internet protocol (IP) network is being constructed as part of important plans to upgrade the precincts surrounding Mecca’s Grand Mosque, the epicentre of the Muslim world. Acting as the technology integrator for the King Abdulaziz Endowment Project (KAEP), Saudi Arabian firm Future Ente- rtainment Works (FEW) is building what it claims to be one of the world’s largest and most advanced IP converged networks, based on Nortel IP systems. Located adjacent to the Grand Mosque in the Saudi Arabian Holy City, KAEP is a sprawling urban development project set over 800,000 square metres that, upon completion in 2007, will inlude six residential and commercial towers and a five-star hotel, built on a multi-story podium. KAEP’s IP-based network —which will comprise over 65,000 ports and is due to be finished early this year — is being constructed with the aim of providing guests and businesses with IP services such as IPTV, video-on-demand, retail and consumer information, and advertising. “This network will provide the most advanced capabilities and facilities for the people it will be serving, not only today but also far into the future,” said Amr Taher, president of BT Applied Technologies, the senior consultants for the project. “We chose Nortel because we believe that it has not only the right products for us, but also a clear vision for and commitment to the development of IP networks,” he added. The IP network at KAEP will cater for virtually any IP-based device that is being used at the time it opens. At its centre, will stand the Nortel Communication Server 1000. With an initial deployment of around 18,000 IP phones, it is expected to grow to 26,000 IP phones. The network solution incorporates 400 switches from the Ethernet Routing Switch 8600 and 8300 portfolio and will support the needs of residential users, hospitality staff, and other outlets being constructed as part of the multi-purpose development. “This is an important project, not only because it signals Nortel’s capability to manage projects of this scale in the Middle East market, but because it is an impressive vote of confidence in the strength of Nortel’s products, innovation and people when evaluated against stringent and demanding criteria.” said Nortel’s Ramin Attari.

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