In an effort to support it’s exponential growth, Tamer Group, a leading healthcare, beauty care, prestige products, and fast moving consumer goods company, based in Saudi Arabia, has recently partnered with InfiNet Wireless to ensure seamless connectivity and high bandwidth across several new facilities in Jeddah. The InfiNet solution has allowed Tamer Group to deploy and support several business-critical applications with far less management and maintenance, all at a significantly lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Explaining the reasons for deciding to upgrade their wireless network infrastructure and work with InfiNet, Mr. Mohannad Al Jammal, Head of IT Operations & Network Infrastructure at Tamer Group said, “One of the big challenges we faced was the topography and the distance between our head office and the remote branches; many of the locations are about 30-40 km apart. So deploying a wireless network that was reliable and stable in these harsh conditions was at the top of our priority list. In parallel, we needed to ensure that the new wireless network could provide high bandwidth that would not only support the existing business needs but also be future-proofed for demand over the next few years. Given our unique requirements, InfiNet was the only viable solution on the market.”

Working with United Horizons, InfiNet’s partner in Saudi Arabia, Tamer Group deployed InfiNet’s InfiLINK 2x2 5GHz PRO & LITE family of products across all 20 locations in Jeddah. For the critical connection between their data center and head office, Tamer Group deployed the R5000-Omx model as it could support speeds of up to 300 Mbps over the 50 km distance. For connections between all other sites, Tamer Group deployed the R5000-Smn and the R5000-Lmn products.

One of the biggest benefits of the InfiNet solution has been the ability for Tamer Group to transmit significant volumes of business-critical data between their various sites. They currently depend on the InfiNet solution for exchange synchronization of their Storage Area Networks (SANs) in their data center and disaster recovery sites. 

Another benefit has been the long-term cost savings. As Mr. Al Jammal explains, “The upfront investment for the InfiNet solution, when compared to other technologies, is slightly higher as obviously, there are a lot of hardware costs. But over the long term, the TCO is much lower. Implementing the InfiNet solution has also saved our IT resources a lot of time, as it has significantly reduced the amount of effort required to manage and maintain the network. While we do have the ability to monitor several parameters like performance, availability, bandwidth and transmission on a day-to-day basis, we have a service contract in place with United Horizons to take care of any problems with the network.”

“I am extremely pleased with the InfiNet solutions – the reliability and stability of the network has allowed us to deploy and support several business-critical processes. Based on our experience with InfiNet, I am confident that as we expand our operations, we will rely on InfiNet solutions for our wireless network infrastructure,” concluded Mr. Al Jammal.

Connectivity, collaboration, sustainability and inclusiveness were the key themes of the opening session of the high-level Leadership Summit, sponsored by TRA, UAE and moderated by Jeremy Wilks of Euronews, media partner of the Leadership Summit.

Extending connectivity - and the tremendous potential for social, economic and human development it brings - is critical. "The digital divide is very much still with us, a divide of geography and gender, of education and resources. It is imperative that we continue to work to close that digital divide," urged ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.

Summarizing the challenges involved in tackling digital exclusion, Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand and Acting Minister of Digital Economy and Society, focused on four key pillars of acitivity, which resonated throughout the discussion: the digital economy, connectivity, cybersecurity and capacity building.

"Governments must create policies that focus on citizen empowerment, digital skills and the creation of a business environment that allows business to grow by leveraging technology," he said, citing the example of Thailand's dynamic SME and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

What extending connectivity means in practice may vary greatly. The European Commission's Digital Single Market strategy, explained Fátima Barros, Chair of Portuguese regulator ANACOM, puts digital centre stage to grow the economy within and across the region. Its ambitious new broadband targets aim for at least 100 Mbps download speed for all households, 1 Gigabit for institutions such as hospitals and universities, and full 5G wireless broadband coverage in urban areas and major transport routes by 2025.

In India, the scale and nature is somewhat different - as R. S. Sharma, Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), pointed out, "45% of the unconnected are in India", and supplying basic power is often the first priority, rather than top broadband speeds. But both Europe and India face the challenges of uniting different states with different languages and at different stages of development; and the need for large-scale investment, a technology-neutral hybrid approach to networks and regulatory reform are universal.

The government's Digital India initiative will digitally empower society and transform the country, explained Sharma, through three parallel strands of development: infrastructure, including digital identity data in the cloud; software; and the services riding on top. Providing those services, whether in education, agriculture, health or any other sector, will only be possible through collaboration and partnership.

New regulatory approaches must enable open standards, software and systems to break down silos, encourage multiple technologies and ensure growth. For Barros, it is a balancing act: "The big challenge to achieving connectivity is keeping the goal of building the single market whilst sustaining competition."

Sparkle announces that it will provide GÉANT with a 2,5 Gbps circuit from Marseille (France) to Annaba (Algeria), boosting the existing connectivity currently dedicated to Algeria's scientists, academics and students community. Sparkle has historically provided network solutions for GÉANT since 2002 to reinforce connectivity among education and research centers located in different countries including India, Tunisia, Malta, Morocco, Egypt, Cyprus, Greece. Currently Sparkle also provides GÉANT with 5Gbps connectivity to Brazil.

CERIST (Research Centre on Scientific and Technical Information), the organization that manages Algeria's national Research & Education network, ARN, has been part of GÉANT's network since 2004. ARN currently interconnects over 800,000 users at 124 research and academic institutions across Algeria. Through its interconnection to GÉANT's pan-European network, ARN enables researchers, academics and students in Algeria to participate in world-class international research and educational activities in areas such as high-energy physics and earth observation.

Today Sparkle owns and operates one of the largest global and technologically advanced network of about 570.000 km of fiber. Sparkle's global backbone also leverages on an extensive ownership in the main international submarine cables connecting Europe with South-East Asia (e.g.: SEA-ME-WE 3, SEA-ME-WE 4, IMEWE and the upcoming SEA-ME-WE 5) as well as in consortia and bilateral submarine cables in the Mediterranean basin (e.g. to Malta, Tunisia, Libya, Israel, Turkey). Sparkle's open ecosystem and rich marketplace Sicily Hub in Palermo, located in the middle of the Mediterranean basin, reinforces Sparkle's strategic role in serving the growing capacity demand between Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

Sicily Hub provides lowest latency to customers located in North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East than any other European peering point because of its geographical position and it is connected to all cable landing stations in Sicily.

In the Americas Sparkle manages a state-of the-art regional proprietary fiber optic network which is part of its global backbone and that connects Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Peru, Venezuela and USA with the rest of the world. Sparkle is also the main investor in Seabras-1, the only submarine cable system to directly connect Sao Paulo, Brazil, to New York, USA, that will go in full operation by 2017.

GTT Communications and GBI jointly announced that they have formed a strategic relationship to provide enhanced services and connectivity in the Middle East.

As part of the agreement, GTT will be adding new points of presence (PoPs) in the Middle East, starting with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar. Through this deployment, clients will be able to leverage GTT's global network while gaining access to GBI's extensive reach across the Middle East. The agreement will also provide GBI with connectivity to the United States and Europe.

"We are very pleased to partner with GBI on this initiative," said Rick Calder, president and chief executive officer of GTT. "Our clients include some of the largest enterprises in the world. The launch of these new PoPs will enable us to extend our network reach in the Middle East, furthering our goal of connecting our clients to any location in the world and any application in the cloud."

"In addition to its alignment with our future growth plans, this expansion further supports GBI's transformation to a global multilayer service provider," said Amr Eid, chief executive officer of GBI. "GTT's leading Tier 1 IP network will broaden GBI's reach and allow us to deliver new, innovative services, both within and outside the Middle East."

GTT and GBI expect to further grow their working relationship by launching additional PoPs and services within the region.

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Digital Magazine

Dec 2016

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