Connect, Lebanon’s premier ISP, chose InfiNet Wireless solutions to serve as the backbone of its new wireless network infrastructure. The upgrade was aimed at enabling Connect to meet the high-bandwidth and zero-downtime demands of premium residential and enterprise customers across the country, while at the same time significantly reducing maintenance and service costs.
Connect was using a WiMAX Network, on the 2.3 GHz frequency band, to serve residential customers. While it was able to meet the standard bandwidth requirements of the residential customers, it didn’t suffice for the high bandwidth requirements of some of the premium residential and corporate customers such as banks and retail outlets. The existing WiMAX platform was limited to 5 Mbps for downlink and 2 Mbps for uplink.
To serve premium and corporate customers, Connect had to use Wi-Fi based point-to-point (PTP) solutions available in the local market but the frequency bands that it was 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 went down frequently and it ultimately got to a point where it required sending 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,” Jubran El Ayan, RF Manager at Connect said.
Recognising the need to go for a network upgrade, Connect turned to its sister company, Mada, in Kuwait for recommendations. An InfiNet customer since 2012, Mada has relied on InfiNet’s range of 3.5GHz solutions.
As a Proof of Concept (PoC), Jubran and his team tested a few wireless units from the InfiLINK 2x2 PRO portfolio, InfiNet’s Point-to-Point wireless solutions. The units were easy to install and performed well from the start, giving the Connect technical team the confidence to install 70 units, after the PoC, as part of the backhauling backbone of the company.
In parallel, Connect also deployed 30 units of the InfiLINK 2x2 LITE (a medium capacity PTP wireless product range) to provide larger enterprise customers dedicated high capacity connectivity.
For a number of its most critical and strategic locations, Connect deployed 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 10 MHz.
Once the complete backbone of the network was in place, Connect then started deploying 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 directly with the InfiNet team, Connect deployed in excess of 30 base stations and 250 subscriber terminals across Lebanon in just a few months.
Jubran 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.”
Jubran added: “The most noticeable benefit of the InfiNet solution 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”.