Critical cables

Mobinil’s move to a new headquarters meant the up and coming Egyptian telco needed a new cabling infrastructure. It chose to go down the convergence route, with R&M cabling. NME reports.

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By  Eliot Beer Published  December 1, 2006

|~|niletower200g.jpg|~||~|For a fast-growing telecoms provider such as Mobinil, a robust and scaleable infrastructure is a critical requirement. To ensure this, Mobinil recently moved into brand new offices in the Nile City development, and invested in new infrastructure for its employees and data centre. “Mobinil is one of the largest mobile operators in Egypt, and we are now over 2,000 employees,” says Kamal Kamel, data networks and security manager at Mobinil. “We serve more than 7.5 million subscribers, so far. We work on a 24/7 basis for our customers, so having an advanced and robust infrastructure for our employees allows them to work in a good environment, integrating with our mission statement to provide the best working environment for our employees. This of course will impact on our service to our subscribers.” The project started in 2004, with the firm planning for it since 2003, according to Kamel. He says the Nile City development is home to a large number of Egypt’s banks and corporate giants. “We have to have a secure infrastructure, and cabling is a basic component of this infrastructure. So we had to have a specific category of cables – low-smoke, fire-retardant, zero halogen, for the jackets,” says Kamel. “Another major point was we were planning to build a converged network, to accommodate data, voice and video traffic.” After consideration, Mobinil decided to implement Reichle & De-Massari (R&M) cabling, for both the data centre backbone and the office infrastructure. The telco deployed 3,500 Cat 6 Ethernet ports, set to rise to 4,000 in the near future as the company expands, along with 100 fibre ports. The data centre backbone runs at 1Gbit/s, while the client ports are Fast Ethernet, with the capability to upgrade to Gigabit Ethernet. “For us, the R&M solution took care of both the technical specifications, and also the support we needed in order to have what we called an intelligent building,” explains Kamel. “The support we got from R&M before and during the project was good.” For Mobinil, the critical elements to the implementation were having a converged data and voice network, and having a very safe infrastructure – the R&M cabling satisfied both of these requirements. “There were a number of challenges, as there always are in large projects,” says Kamel. “One was moving people between the old and new sites, as business did not stop. Also there were constraints with the building itself – one of the floors in the building is around 10,000 sq m, but we were always able to solve them without impacting our deadlines.” Kamel says Mobinil saved 40% on the cost of separate networks by deploying the converged network for voice and data.||**||

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