Zhone Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZHNE), a global pioneer in FTTx network access solutions, announced today that Etisalat, the leading integrated service provider in the Middle East, is utilizing Zhone's industry-leading MXK™ intelligent terabit access concentrator to backhaul its mobile data traffic, including traffic from its most recent Long-Term Evolution (LTE) deployment.

Etisalat will use Zhone’s flagship MXK solution and Zhone FiberCell™ portfolio as part of its efforts to enable a 1 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) link to each LTE mobile radio base station (RBS) as it completes a major network expansion and transitions to advanced 4G wireless service throughout the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Leveraging the Zhone Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) MXK platforms currently deployed throughout the UAE in support of Etisalat’s existing FTTH based multi-play services, Etisalat will be able to transition its existing circuit-based backhaul to next generation fiber backhaul with minimal infrastructure overlay.

“Zhone's FTTx solution gives us unprecedented flexibility, scalability, robust network control and the ability to offer more bandwidth to customers with greater efficiency,” said Esmaeel Al-Hammadi, vice president of fixed access and radio networks, Etisalat. “Now, we are able to efficiently offload LTE services and provide efficient mobile backhaul utilizing our existing nationwide FTTH network. By utilizing our existing FTTH infrastructure for mobile backhaul, Zhone was able to help us quickly and cost-effectively launch LTE services at full bandwidth capacity and maximum Gigabit Ethernet line speed nationwide.”

Striving to offer 4G mobile services to its subscribers, Etisalat successfully completed its own pilot LTE backhaul trial using Zhone’s MXK system. The convergence of existing mobile and fixed FTTH networks allowed Etisalat to not only offer higher backhaul capacity using the Zhone MXK access systems already in place, but also provide full and efficient backhaul coverage to any LTE site within reach of the UAE’s existing nationwide FTTH network. Etisalat was able to minimize its overall network investment for backhaul services and achieve unprecedented mobile bandwidth capacity.

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