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Saudi telecom operator Mobily (Etihad Etisalat) has awarded Ericsson a modernization contract to upgrade its access network in the western region of Saudi Arabia, deploying the latest features of the Ericsson Radio System.

The contract includes the Ericsson Baseband 52- and 66-series and mobile backhaul equipment such as the Ericsson MINI-LINK and Ericsson Router 6000 series. The products will allow Mobily to expand network coverage and improve capacity, and thus enhance end-user experience with high-quality differentiated services. Mobily will also benefit from the minimal footprint and reduced power consumption of the Ericsson Radio System.

"This agreement with Ericsson is in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 and its objectives that fall within developing the Telecom and IT sector, in addition to preparing best-provided services to customers that comply with its new strategy 'RISE'," said Eng. Ahmed Aboudoma, Chief Executive Officer, Mobily. "This includes a concept that raises the level of provided services to customers by using the latest telecom technologies."

Aboudoma added, "The current Mobily network is competitive on the sector level, and the new collaboration will enable Mobily to increase its network performance, which benefits customers as they will enjoy unprecedented services. The agreement took more than six months to come to light, as we wanted to ensure that the plans complied with the rapid developments in the telecom technology. We also wanted to exploit future technologies with a highly efficient contractual framework."

Ericsson will introduce advanced technologies such as FDD/TDD convergence, 4x4 MIMO, multi-band carrier aggregation, and enable greater spectrum flexibility and migration between GSM, WCDMA, and LTE by implementing the Ericsson Shared Carrier solution. These enhancements will also prepare Mobily's network for Internet of Things and 5G.

Rafiah Ibrahim, Head of Ericsson Middle East and Africa, said, "Our relationship with Mobily goes back to 2005. We have helped build Mobily's network across Saudi Arabia and will continue to provide leading solutions to address their needs, making the network ready for 5G and Internet of Things. The overall benefits of the modernized network will extend to offering enhanced experiences to Mobily's subscribers."

Saudi Arabia is one of the leading countries in terms of mobile data growth which was more than 100 percent in 2015. As the volume of mobile data traffic continues to increase, Mobily has embraced Ericsson's new solutions to make optimal use of the spectrum and network resources, and to offer the highest possible throughput and capacity to its subscribers.
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