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By Wang Man & Wu Wei Editor: Joyce Fan

MBB creates new opportunities
The first licensed 3G provider in Saudi Arabia, and the owner of one of the busiest 3G networks in the world, Mobily had come up with a strategy to utilize its 3G and HSPA+ data bandwidth in such a way that would not only set it apart from other operators, but also bring it into direct competition with fixed broadband DSL.

Win-Win / JUN 2011


5G. GSMA’s statistics showed that Mobily had the busiest 3G network in the world. Mobily achieved its first one million subscribers in less than 90 days of beginning operations and ended its first year with around 2. so Mobily knew it had to prepare for this data traffic. on the construction of a high performance radio and packet core network. keeping tomorrow in mind Mobily and Huawei first began working together in 2005. 2005. Mobily realized that it needed to launch large-scale HSPA A solution for today. In 2007.5G. As the second mobile operator in Saudi Arabia and first licensed 3G mobile provider in the kingdom. With the addition of a new mobile competitor and having been denied the opportunity to add fixed-line offerings to its portfolio. “We wanted to shift the mobile data consumption conversation in the minds of consumers away from kilobytes to gigabytes. With a rapidly growing population of young consumers and increasing wealth. we knew that we could shift the goal posts. To meet the new strategic objectives. we knew that we could shift the goal posts. Etihad Etisalat consortium. The first was the issuance of a third mobile license.35 million customers.Winners When we looked at 3G and more importantly 3. CEO and Managing Director of Mobily. We wanted to shift the mobile data consumption conversation in the minds of consumers away from kilobytes to gigabytes. This group evaluated a series of solutions to resolve possible bottlenecks caused by the high 37 Win-Win / JUN 2011 . “When we looked at 3G and more importantly 3. mobile broadband and multimedia services have become popular entertainment avenues. A large capacity and high throughput packet core is required to lay the foundation of various mobile broadband services. was founded on May 25. an architecture working group was established in 2007 between Mobily and Huawei. Mobily needed to rethink its strategy.” says Khalid Al-Kaf. services as soon as possible to stay ahead in the mobile race. known by its trade name Mobily. A future featuring MBB and new services The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has one of the largest volumes of demand for broadband Internet services among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Mobily decided to build an HSPA network for high-speed mobile broadband and upgrade its core packet network system to handle large amounts of data traffic. Early experiences showed that the large-scale deployment of HSPA resulted in increasing data throughput in a short time. Enhance the network capacity To implement its strategic direction and meet forecast demand. After thoroughly analyzing the situation. Competitive market calls for strategy shift In April 2007. Saudi Arabia’s Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) made two official announcements that were of great significance for the kingdom’s telecommunication industry.” he adds. as HSPA offered a better alternative to both ADSL and WiMAX. and also to address the looming tactical challenges.

2 million. At the end of 2009. including constructing and upgrading a 3G/3. Win-Win / JUN 2011 38 . with a share of more than 70%. In July 2010. According to the annual report of CITC. Mobily again selected Huawei to construct its next generation packet core. along with another two high-usage bundles. In November 2007. it could optimize the network investment of Mobily. the Saudi Arabian operator was able to reinforce its leading position in the MBB market. the 5GB and 1GB bundles for SAR200 and SAR100 respectively. This core network was built to provide strong support for a large-scale HSPA rollout and ensure safe operation. and 9Gbps of peak-time throughput with 90% growth rate yearby-year. and an overall customer base of 18. up by more than 200% over the past 12 months. towards MBB success On May 19. a flexible charging policy and bandwidth management.75G network. The solution can also implement ser vice awareness and control. Mobily saw a 40% growth in H1 net profit. The result of this was a decision to deploy Huawei’s huge capacity and high performance packet core – SingleEPC. 2007. Over a period of three years since 2007. Mobily became the first operator to use HSPA+ in the region on its 3. In the coming three years.41 million during that time. as a pioneer in this technology in the Middle East. 51% were MBB users. Mobily has built up a flourishing mobile broadband business through HSPA. Because the packet core can handle both 2G and 3G.5G (HSPA) PS core network to support 100. By leveraging Huawei HSPA offerings and unified packet core – SingleEPC. Mobily’s launched its unlimited bundle at an affordable monthly charge of SAR350 (USD93). Mobily is currently the biggest 3G mobile operator in the Middle East.000 HSPA subscribers with an average throughput of 55Kbps per subscriber during peak hours (the actual usage by a single user can reach tens of Mbps). As an indication of the popularity of the service and pent-up demand in the kingdom. The operator closed the year with one million customers subscribed to its high-usage bundles. The growth of Q2 revenues was attributed to the increase in broadband revenues and postpaid customers. Mobily’s HSPA network now covers 92% of all populated areas in the kingdom. Of these. Step by step. Till end of 2010. Mobily signed up 50. maximization of network resource utilization and increased revenue. Mobily aims to strengthen its leadership in broadband services and applications. comprising of more than two million MBB subscribers. which has five to ten times more capacity and throughput than traditional equipment. the number of Saudi Arabia’s mobile broadband subscribers rose 488% to 1.000 users in the first few months. in line with global trends in mobile communications. mining the potential of the 2G market and evolving the network to 3G smoothly and costeffectively. while 47% used ADSL. Mobily carried a daily average of 80 terabytes of data transfer. by the end of 2010.traffic of data services and unique traffic scenarios.