du has announced the completion of the first phase of its Optical Transport Network (OTN) expansion along with its own Backbone Infrastructure. With this, du is among the first few telecom service providers in the Middle East to establish OTN on a national scale across the country, converging all its services. The landmark venture is set to extend all the way from Abu Dhabi to Dubai and the northern emirates, ultimately reaching du’s submarine cable landing station in Fujairah. du has invested over $65 million in this project, which has already reached an advanced stage and will be completed by mid-2012 to include Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Qwain.
Hatem Bamatraf, Senior Vice President , Network Development, du, expressed pride on this milestone and said: “Optical Transport Network along with our own Backbone Infrastructure using the latest in Fibre Optic Cables will enhance the capacity of the backbone and to the end users, and also provide enhanced network coverage to 2G and 3G mobile users. Moreover, it will act as a core network to connect the UAE to other nearby countries through global and submarine cables. So, our network will add to the UAE connectivity capacity regionally. This in turn acts as a stepping stone towards our preparations to launch our fixed line service nationwide. We will continue our efforts to develop our network to further advance our customer experience.”
The new project will result in significant enhancement of du’s network performance through an increase in speed and bandwidth services enabling high speeds over 3.2Terabit/sec, and can be upgraded to 8Terabit/sec; self-healing; and will have the ability to monitor and remotely control the entire optical network all over the UAE. This is expected to increase efficiency of fibre optic use through which one pair of fibre can provide several services with the best quality and high bandwidth.
The project is built on an Infrastructure Backbone with the latest type of Fibre Optic Cables (Enhanced standard – Ultra Low Loss) of around 1100 KM all over UAE – designed and executed in-house. Phase 1 in Abu Dhabi and southern emirates connects Abu Dhabi, Al Silla, Al Ain with Dubai (completed), while Phase 2 will cover northern emirates area connecting Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, Al Fujairah and the east coast, The second phase is already being executed and is expected to be completed by mid-2012.
The project has also added a new dimension by providing an international connection between du and Saudi Telecom Company – STC (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and Omantel (Al Buraimi – Oman) providing terrestrial fibre infrastructure connectivity to international gateways. The Infrastructure Backbone also connects with du’s international Cable Landing Station facility in Fujairah which adds an additional high bandwidth gateway towards Asia, Africa and Europe continents through the Europe India Gateway (EIG) project).
“To handle strategically significant projects on an international level, we joined hands with Huawei – a prominent company in the area of optical equipment. We are proud of being among the first few companies in the Middle East region to establish a nationwide Optical Transport Network,” concluded Bamatraf.