Mardi Balgochian Scalise, Lightwave Web Editor
Alcatel is not only surviving, but thriving in today's tumultuous industry where others are doing almost anything to just hang on. In the past few weeks, Alcatel has announced numerous deals around the world.
Alcatel was recently selected by Orascom Telecom to deliver Algeria's GSM network -- the largest Algerian GSM mobile network -- in a deal worth more than €400 million over 5 years.
Alcatel and Orascom Telecom Holding S.A.E. signed a contract for the delivery of a significant portion of a new nationwide GSM network in Algeria. The contract is the first execution of the Global Frame Agreement signed between Orascom Telecom and Alcatel and is further enhancing their ongoing collaboration in the region. The first phase of the network installation will start in October 2001. When completed, the network will be the largest-capacity network in Algeria. It will allow Orascom Telecom Algeria to offer enhanced mobile data services to almost 3 million customers.
Alcatel will supply Orascom Telecom Algeria with its Evolium solution. It comprises a radio Base Station Subsystem (BTS), a core Network Sub System (NSS) including a Mobile Switching Center (MSC) and a Home Location Register (HLR). Alcatel will also supply an Intelligent Network platform for value-added services and revenue-generating applications such as Voice Mail Service (VMS), a short Message Service Center (SMS-C). In addition, to carrying high-capacity traffic amongst the base stations, the network will utilize Alcatel's microwave radio systems managed by an efficient and powerful network management platform.
The Alcatel Evolium family will support GSM, GPRS, EDGE and UMTS technologies that can integrate future 3G mobile data applications. Alcatel's Evolium solutions meet the requirements of mobile operators, whether it is for the deployment of new networks or the optimization of existing infrastructures. Alcatel offers mobile operators a GSM 800, 900, 1800 and 1900MHz end-to-end solution offering, including radio access and core network systems, services platform and mobile terminals, allowing them to provide new and attractive services. Evolium SAS , an Alcatel-Fujitsu company, combines Alcatel's expertise in GSM, GPRS, and EDGE as well as in ATM and IP technologies, with the advanced experience of Fujitsu as supplier of NTT DoCoMo. These solutions ensure an efficient evolution towards 3G, minimizing the migration costs and protecting operators' investment.
"Taking this step into Algeria is a major achievement for Alcatel since it is among the last major countries in Africa to grant a GSM license to a private operator", said Michel Rahier, President of Alcatel's Mobile Networks activities.
Hervé Pourcines, Key Account Management Director of Alcatel, said: "In the next 12 months with the support of the engineers of Alcatel Egypt, Alcatel will be the main contributor to the coverage of the 12 major districts and within 24 months, all 20 prefectures will be covered."
Alcatel also announced a contract win from Romania's GSM operator, Mobil Rom for a euro;20 million turnkey network and implementation of its terrestrial high capacity optical backbone in Romania.
The frame-contract foresees the global management of the project, from network planning and design, negotiation of right-of-ways permits, site preparation for SDH transmission equipment, and civil works, to the supply, installation and commissioning of a terrestrial high-capacity fiber optic backbone.
Under the terms of this contract, Alcatel will supply and install a nationwide high-speed backbone based on the Optinex family, Alcatel's transmission products. The network, covering 1,500 km, will deploy Alcatel's TeraLight optical fiber, an advanced technology which allows ultra high-capacity optical transmission in DWDM. This Teralight technology will be the first of its kind to be implemented in Romania.
The Optinex family is designed with features that enable operators to offer a full range of services to business and residential users, including the newest IP-based services with guaranteed IP Quality of Services (QoS). IP and ATM grooming and forwarding functionality is introduced into Optinex Multi-service Nodes and Gateways, thus reducing the amount of investments needed to build up a transmission network and to operate it. The current terrestrial Optinex product range also includes wide-band optical amplifiers and Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing systems (DWDM) with high-channel counts and very high-performance applications, able to multiplex up to 160 channels-upgradeable to 240-with optical tributaries from 100Mbit/s to 10Gbit/s. Within this range. Optinex Optical networks Systems are capable of reaching up to 2.4 Tbit/s. of capacity. All the above mentioned systems are managed by a single, fully integrated Network Management System enabling efficient traffic control and routing throughout all network levels, from local up to intercontinental links and from submarine to terrestrial ones.
TeraLight, Alcatel's Non-Zero-Dispersion Shifted Fiber, is a technically advanced fiber optimized for 10Gbit/s and 40Gbit/s operation and offers the ability to operate in all three transmission bands (C, L and the future S band). It can support more than 320 channels at 10Gbit/s and claims a world record for WDM backbone transmission at 40Gbit/s: 10.2Tbit/s over 100 km. This means 160 million voice calls or more than one million high-bit rate ADSL Internet lines could be carried on a single optical fiber. On May 22, 2001, Alcatel announced two new fibers based on TeraLight technology: TeraLight Metro for metropolitan networks and TeraLight Ultra for long haul & ultra long haul applications. Both fibers offer cost-effective solutions for operators to upgrade from today's systems to higher bit rates, to utilize more transmission bands and to increase the number of channels per band.
The network, when completed, will provide secured connections between Mobil Rom's mobile-service switching centers in Bucharest, Brasov, Cluj, Craiova, Timisoara, Oradea and Arad. The first phase of the project will be ready before the end of 2001 while the full network will be operational by the end of 2002.
Alcatel also expanded a mobile network expansion in Tibet with an award from Mobile Communications Co. of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (Tibet Mobile) for its 4th GSM Network Extension. The mobile network extension contract will enhance the network capacity and improve the quality of mobile phone calls in Tibet, the highest plateau in the world.
According to the contract, Alcatel, through one of its largest joint ventures in China, Shanghai Bell Alcatel Mobile Communication System Co., Ltd. (SBAMC), will provide its Evolium solution, the same solution as used with Algeria's GSM network with Orascom Telecom Algeria.
It comprises a radio Base Station Subsystem (BTS) and a core Network Sub System (NSS) including a Mobile Services Switching Center (MSC) and Home Location Register (HLR). The project is to be completed by the end of this year. By that time, Tibet Mobile will reach a network capacity of 280,000 subscribers and mobile phone users will be able to place a call from almost anywhere in Tibet.
Alcatel started its close cooperation with Tibet Mobile in 1999 when Alcatel installed the network infrastructure in the Ali district, removing the so-called "last blind spot" of mobile communications in China.
All of this news of Alcatel's dealings around the globe closely followed the company's contract with China Telecom for its optical multi-service gateways to expand CT's metropolitan network in Northwest China.
Under the deal, Alcatel deploy its Lambda Gate system in four key sites to flexibly interconnect the network fabric constituting Xi'an metropolitan transmission infrastructure. Interconnections will be implemented through a fully meshed network based on 10 Gbit/s interfaces integrated in the system directly. Designed to optimize network and switching costs, this optical solution offers a capacity extension over 5 Tbit/s. Alcatel will also supply its integrated network management system to ensure end-to-end control, network protection and restoration, fast provisioning of services.
Alcatel builds next generation networks, delivering integrated end-to-end voice and data networking solutions to established and new carriers, as well as enterprises and consumers worldwide. For more information, visit www.alcatel.com.
About Orascom Telecom:
Orascom Telecom is a commercial supplier of Internet access and web-based services and solutions in Egypt and has begun expanding these Services into the Arabian Gulf region. For more information, visit www.otelecom.com.
About Mobil Rom:
Mobil Rom is a Romanian stock company established to answer the tender launched by the Romanian Government in order to attribute two licenses for GSM mobile telephony.