Lebanon’s premier ISP, Connect, has selected InfiNet Wireless solutions to serve as the backbone of its new wireless network infrastructure. The upgraded platform is aimed to enable Connect to meet the high-bandwidth and zero-downtime demands of premium residential and enterprises customers across the country, while at the same time significantly reducing maintenance and service costs.
Talking about the challenges with the existing network, Jubran El Ayan, RF manager at Connect said, “We are using a WiMAX Network, on the 2.3 GHz frequency band, to serve residential customers. While we are able to meet the standard bandwidth requirements of our residential customers, some of our premium residential and corporate customers such as banks and retail outlets, require high bandwidth. Our existing WiMAX platform is limited to 5 Mbps for downlink and 2 Mbps for uplink which meant that we simply could not meet such bandwidth requirements.
“To serve premium and corporate customers, we had to use Wi-Fi based point-to-point (PTP) solutions available in the local market but the frequency bands that we were operating in started to suffer from major interference issues, resulting in a further drop in capacity and decreasing reliability. More importantly, the deployed Wi-Fi platform proved to be extremely temperamental – links would go down frequently and it ultimately got to a point where we had to send field engineers to troubleshoot outages and maintain the network on a daily basis. Not only was this a drain on our resources and added significant costs to our operations, but we had several unhappy customers which was hurting our reputation and revenue streams.”
Connect's sister company, Mada in Kuwait, recommended Infinet Wireless solution. An Infinet customer since 2012, Mada has heavily relied on InfiNet’s range of 3.5GHz solutions to provide its customers across Kuwait with a reliable, high-bandwidth and always-on connectivity.
For a number of its strategic locations, Connect opted to deploy the InfiLINK XG which is capable of reaching a peak net throughput of 500 Mbps in 40 MHz of spectrum and more than 130 Mbps in only 10 MHz. Connect later deployed the InfiMAN 2x2, InfiNet’s range of wireless Point-to-Multipoint (PTMP) solutions, mainly to connect their corporate customers and premium residential customers with high bandwidth needs. Working with the InfiNet team, Connect deployed in excess of 30 base stations and 250 subscriber terminals across Lebanon in just a few months.
El Ayan said: “With InfiNet, we are now able to serve customers more efficiently. With our Wi-Fi based PTP links we had to connect all our customers in a Point-to-Point topology, which is not only cumbersome to manage but also expensive to procure and deploy. This is no longer the case thanks to the InfiMAN 2x2 platform. All we need to do now is set up a sector in a specific area and we can provide, almost instantly, a large number of customers with high bandwidth connectivity, all achieved without disrupting any other customer or our wider network.
“The most noticeable benefit of the InfiNet solution though, has been the reliability of the network. We routinely had network outages with our previous platform which was a drain on our financial and human resources and had a noticeable negative effect on our business growth and reputation. With the InfiNet solution, we no longer have any downtime or performance loss, ultimately giving us the confidence that we can provide our customers with the best-in-class wireless network. InfiNet has truly saved our business and reputation in the marketplace,” added El Ayan.
Kamal Mokrani, global VP, InfiNet Wireless said: “Service providers across the Middle East are coming under immense pressure to provide customers, both residential and commercial, with higher bandwidth and reliable connectivity. These service providers account for a large portion of our customer base and over the last couple of years, we have made significant investments in developing solutions, like the InfiLINK XG and InfiLINK XG-1000, to cater to this sector. Having worked closely with Mada in Kuwait, it is gratifying that their sister company in Lebanon, Connect, have also selected InfiNet’s solutions to improve service to their customers. I look forward to supporting them over the years to come as they achieve their growth ambitions.”