Monday, October 23, 2017


Middle East’s ‘most valuable telco’ just hired Cisco to upgrade its data centres



Telecommunications provider is setting up its software defined networking infrastructure game by bringing in Cisco’s ACI.

Cisco has been awarded a contract by mobile and data services provider Etihad Etisalat, otherwise known as Mobily often represented by football player Cristiano Ronaldo, to carry out an upgrade on the provider’s networks and data centres.

Mobily said Cisco’s work comes as the company is moving towards a more software defined networking (SDN) infrastructure in search for more agile business assets, costs reduction, including a lower total cost of ownership, and the ability to deploy applications faster.

With that in mind, Mobility has tasked Cisco with deploying Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI).

Maziad Alharbi, chief technology officer at Mobily, said: “Our relationship with Cisco over the years has enabled us to generate maximum value from our investments in network architecture.

“The adoption of the ACI is a significant step for in the evolution of Mobily’s services and infrastructure.

“With incremental growth in the demand for data, this drive will better position us to provide our customers with a wider portfolio of high-quality telecommunications services and boost our standing as a technology leader.”

Andy MacDonald, vice president, Global Service Provider, Middle East, Africa and Russia, Cisco, said: “SDN is becoming an increasingly important strategic imperative for Mobily as it continues to expand its networks and services and develops an infrastructure that can address customers’ needs well into the future.”

Elsewhere, Etisalat has been recognised by British valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance as the most valuable of any telecoms brand portfolio in the Middle East.

The Etisalat Group has a valuation of $7.728bn, $1.5bn ahead of its closest rival Saudi Telecom Company.

Brand Finance justifies the ranking by highlighting Etisalat’s work around brand activities and value which has included work with Portuguese football player Cristiano Ronaldo.

In addition, Etisalat has been recognised by managing a large set of global sponsorship properties and local events targeted at both consumer and business customers.

Brand Finance CEO David Haigh, said: “As well as developing its core brand, Etisalat has pursued a broader brand portfolio strategy as a way to build business value through leveraging branded assets.

“Brands such as Mobily in Saudi Arabia provide access to very significant GCC markets and in addition, the portfolio approach has provided a foothold in key regional territories adjacent to the Middle East base — for example through Maroc Telecom in North Africa and in Pakistan.”