Ericsson to supply GPON broadband to Saudi tech city

AUGUST 28, 2008 -- The systems house will supply, build, integrate, operate, and manage a multiplay GPON communications infrastructure for the smart-city project. The deal is to be the first for an end-to-end fixed network in Saudi Arabia.

AUGUST 28, 2008 -- Ericsson (search for Ericsson) has signed a five-year sole-supplier partnership agreement with Emaar, developer of Saudi Arabia's high-tech flagship, King Abdullah Economic City. The systems house will supply, build, integrate, operate, and manage a multiplay GPON communications infrastructure for the smart-city project. The deal is to be the first for an end-to-end fixed network in Saudi Arabia.

The turnkey agreement breaks new ground in Saudi Arabia as Ericsson's first GPON-enabled IPTV contract, the first fiber-optic contract, and the first fixed-network IMS contract where Ericsson provides systems integration and network rollout services. The contract brings together products from Ericsson's major acquisitions - Entrisphere, Marconi, Redback, and TANDBERG Television - and the company's telecom services portfolio.

The network will provide services using GPON fiber-to-the home technology, enabling advanced multimedia services for TV, PC, and telephones. Services such as IP telephony, movies-on-demand, personalized TV, Internet, and data services are being provided at competitive prices for King Abdullah Economic City's 2 million residents.

The 168 million sq m King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) is being built on a location off the Red Sea in the north of Jeddah. The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, the body responsible for inward investments into the Kingdom, is the prime facilitator for KAEC. The city has six components -- sea port; industrial district; educational zone; a central business district with commercial, mixed-use, retail outlets, and financial island; resorts; and a residential area.

Fahd Al-Rasheed, CEO of Emaar the Economic City, says, "This partnership sets the foundation for King Abdullah Economic City to be the world's first truly smart city."

Omar Al-Khudairi, Ethraa Smart City senior director, described the deal to build the smart city's infrastructure in alliance with Ericsson as a global benchmark from all perspectives.

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