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Zhone Technologies Helps Leading Saudi Arabia Operator Mobily Deploy Nationwide Fiber Network

Zhone Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZHNE), a global pioneer in FTTx network access solutions, announced today that through a partnership with BTC Networks, Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), a leading mobile voice and data service provider in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is utilizing Zhone's industry-leading MXK™ Optical Line Termination (OLT) for its Greenfield nationwide Fiber network. The network will deliver fixed broadband services to residential and business customers using Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology. The MXK OLT will also be used to provision business services and transport mobile backhaul network traffic.

Saudi Arabia remains one of the biggest and fastest growing economies in the Middle East. Currently, fixed telephony lines stand at 4.5 million with over 3.4 million lines in residences and homes, representing roughly 69% of the households in the Kingdom. Fixed broadband subscriptions stood at over 2 million subscribers at the end of June 2011, representing over 33% of the household penetration. Currently, over 80% of the fixed broadband users are utilizing xDSL for their broadband services in the Kingdom.

Mobily will leverage the Zhone MXK OLT to deliver affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access and advanced video services in its new FTTx offerings utilizing GPON technology. Alongside, Mobily plans to leverage the same MXK OLT to backhaul part of the 2G and 3G traffic for its over 18 million mobile subscribers in the Kingdom. Mobily’s network covers all cities and major towns in the Kingdom and more than 22,000 km of highways.

“The scalability and density of Zhone’s MXK gives us the unprecedented flexibility, robust network control and the ability to offer more bandwidth to customers with greater efficiency,” said Salah ALamoudi, VP Transmission Mobily. “Our established wireless presence and our expansive fixed broadband plans necessitated a multi-service platform choice with high scalability, density, reliability and interoperability. We tested many platforms before choosing the MXK as one of our FTTx vendor partner. Zhone’s success in the region with the MXK platform was a big reason for our choice of going with Zhone.”

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