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iDirect, Ericsson-Oman Team To Bring Cost Efficient Gsm Backhaul Solution To Market


Win deal With Nawras, Oman’s growing mobile provider

Herndon, Va., April 2008 – iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of VT Systems Inc (VT Systems) and a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology, announced today that its intelligent platform has been tested and certified to be fully interoperable with Ericsson’s Abis over IP GSM satellite backhaul solution. The joint capabilities establish a new ROI model for cellular backhaul, enabling operators to significantly reduce the cost of transporting cellular traffic over satellite by replacing inefficient Single Channel Per Carrier (SCPC) links with a shared IP Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) network.

iDirect and Ericsson-Oman have also signed their first joint customer, Nawras, a major cellular operator in the Middle East based in the Sultanate of Oman. In an effort to extend its GSM service to Oman’s entire population, Nawras will install an iDirect Series 15000 Universal Hub at its headquarters along with 20 iDirect iNFINITI 5000 Series Satellite Routers. The operator also plans to leverage the satellite network to provide broadband connectivity to commercial enterprises and government organizations in the Sultanate of Oman.

Mobile penetration has reached a saturation point in urban areas, yet the rural market, which represents more than two billion consumers globally, has been too costly for operators to pursue. The introduction of cellular backhaul over a satellite TDMA network combined with traffic optimization solutions has dramatically reduced bandwidth requirements. With the iDirect Intelligent Platform, operators can pool bandwidth on a shared network and dynamically allocate it according to the real-time requirements of each individual Base Tower System (BTS). This eliminates the need to allocate fixed bandwidth levels based on the busy hour requirements for each BTS associated with legacy SCPC systems.

“Thanks to innovations by iDirect and Ericsson, Nawras can profitably extend its GSM network to every citizen, business and organization in Oman. This is a national priority for economic and social development and a new path to grow our business.”

Engineering Director, Nawras

Representing the first time a cellular networking equipment provider has integrated IP routing capabilities into its own hardware, Ericsson’s Abis over IP solution provides built-in IP traffic optimization. The combination of Ericsson’s Abis over IP solution and iDirect’s satellite platform dramatically reduces backhaul transmission costs, clearing the way for providers to extend cellular networks worldwide. This combination removes costly silent and idle transmission frames and optimizes signaling channels, increasing data throughput rates. The Ericsson solution will deliver additional bandwidth savings when the company introduces its local switching function later this year. This will allow calls that both terminate on a local group of BTS to be directly connected via the BTS rather than consuming satellite resources.

“Satellite cellular backhaul represents one of the most promising business opportunities for mobile operators worldwide. Integrating the iDirect platform with Ericsson’s Abis over IP technology is a critical accomplishment. The joint solution establishes an attractive ROI model for operators to extend cellular service to every corner of the globe, while at the same time enabling operators to gain a broadband satellite network that can be marketed to support critical business and government IP applications where terrestrial connectivity is not an option or is not adequate.”

Regional Vice President Middle East And Africa, iDirect


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