Mobily expands with Motorola

Managed services deal signed, GSM solution deployed

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By  Published  September 29, 2006

Mobily, the second mobile operator in Saudi Arabia, has signed a managed services contract with Motorola, helping it to cut down on network operational expenditure and total cost of ownership (TCO).

The operator, known formally as Etihad Etisalat Company, is also deploying Motorola’s Reach GSM solution to expand itsnetwork within the Northwest and Southwest regions of the Kingdom.

Under the terms of the deal, Motorola will manage the network, holding responsibility for project management and the operation and maintenance of the network.

Its duties will include ongoing network planning and optimisation of the network to meet increased customer demand.

Ali Amer, senior director of sales for Motorola Networks & Enterprise in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan, described this as a significant deal for Motorola.

“It demonstrates our strong footprint in the region and commitment to the region,” he said, adding that it was also a “sizeable deal in value”.

The deal is an extension of Motorola’s existing relationship with Mobily, the firm having worked with the operator since 2004. As such, it can claim to have helped Mobily to reach its business goal of having over 3.5 million subscribers nationwide by the end of its first year in service in 2006.

“This deal not only increases the capacity and coverage of our network so that we can serve more customers, but also enhances our responsiveness to customer demands as we continue to deliver new applications and services,” said Mobily CEO Khalid Al-Kaf.

“We’re excited to expand our relationship with Motorola among other major vendors to realise our business goals.”

Mobily coverage now reaches all major towns and cities in the Kingdom and the operator is expanding rapidly through its strategic backbone network project, which will finish its first phase by the end of 2006.

“This Motorola Reach GSM network expansion will enable Mobily to significantly extend its network coverage and enhance its services offering, allowing the company to reduce its national roaming costs,” claimed Amer.

He added that telco operators in the Middle East were increasingly looking to outsource parts of their operations to help them grow their business.

“The managed services component will allow Mobily to leverage Motorola’s expertise and expansive services portfolio, enabling Mobily to maximise its infrastructure investment and focus on its core business objectives,” he said.

Amer said Motorola was in talks with Mobily regarding other technologies that it hopes to launch on the network.

“We continue to talk about new technologies, trailing new technologies and as they become available I’m sure Mobily will look into these new technologies and deploy them to serve their customers.”

Motorola announced this month that it was looking to boost its enterprise capabilities by buying Symbol Technologies for US$3.9billion (see IT Weekly 23 –29 September 2006). Motorola chairman and CEO Ed Zander said that the deal will allow the mobile supplier to increase its offerings in the mobile space.

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