Need to Upgrade Legacy Network Infrastructure
As the premier Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Lebanon with approximately 200 points of presence (PoP), residential end-users, corporations and critical infrastructure enterprises like government agencies and banks rely heavily on Connect to provide them with high-bandwidth and reliable connectivity.
Connect’s previous infrastructure, based on WiMAX technology, not only struggled to meet their customers’ requirements for high capacity but also proved to be unsuitable for corporate customers.
As Jubran El Ayan, RF Manager, Connect explained, “We are using our WiMAX Network, on the 2.3 GHz frequency band, to serve residential customers . While we were able to meet the bandwidth requirements of our normal residential customers, some of our premium residential customers and corporate customers such as banks and retail outlets, required 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 the bandwidth requirements of our premium residential and enterprise customers.”
“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 channels that we were operating on started to suffer from major interference issues, resulting in a further drop in capacity and reliability. More importantly, the deployed equipment proved to be extremely temperamental – links would go down frequently and it actually got to a point where we had to deploy 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, but we had several unhappy customers which was hurting our reputation and revenue streams.”
Infinet – High Performance & Reliable
Realizing that upgrading their wireless network infrastructure was critical to not just business growth but the viability of the business itself, Connect turned to their sister company, Mada of Kuwait for a recommendation on the most suitable solution for their business model. An InfiNet customer since 2012, Mada have heavily relied on InfiNet’s range of 3.5GHz solutions to provide its own customers across Kuwait with a reliable, high-bandwidth network.
Based on Mada’s recommendation, as a Proof of Concept (PoC), Jubran and his team tested a few wireless units from the InfiLINK 2x2 PRO portfolio, InfiNet’s high performance, Point-to-Point wireless solutions. Not only were the units easy to install, they also performed extremely well from the start, giving the Connect technical team the confidence to install 70 units, almost immediately 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 cost-effective, medium capacity PTP wireless product range) to provide larger enterprise customers dedicated high capacity connectivity.
For a number of their most critical and strategic locations, Connect opted to deploy the InfiLINK XG, a recent addition to the InfiNet product family, 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.
Once the complete backbone of the network was in place, Connect then started to deploy 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.
‘License’ to Grow
“One of the most immediate benefits of switching to InfiNet has been the ability 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 with the InfiMAN 2x2 platform. All we need to do now is set up a sector and we can provide, almost instantly, a large number of customers with high bandwidth connectivity, all achieved without disrupting any other customer or the larger network,” continued Jubran.
The most noticeable benefit of the InfiNet solution though, has been the reliability of the network. “We routinely had network outages with our previous Wi-Fi based PTP equipment 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 corporate business,” concluded Jubran.