Etisalat Expands Use Of Zhone Technologies’ FTTx Solutions To Include Mobile Backhaul In United Arab Emirates’ First LTE Deployment

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.

“The MXK platform is designed specifically for all-IP networks and intelligent traffic management of massive amounts of bandwidth,” explained Brian Caskey, chief marketing officer, Zhone. “Etisalat's use of the MXK for mobile backhaul is a model application of the system’s expanded capabilities and sets a new benchmark for Zhone’s ability to deliver scalable, manageable and service-rich network solutions. Ultimately, we’ve enabled Etisalat to maximize the capital expenses of its existing national FTTH infrastructure to improve network quality of service (QoS), speed and overall network capabilities without significant additional investment.”

The MXK's ability to support both Active Ethernet and GPON simultaneously has enabled Etisalat to configure its networks with maximum flexibility and efficiency. With advanced bandwidth intensive applications growing rapidly and the need for fiber based backhaul to support the additional bandwidth demand being critical, Zhone FiberCell solution provides network reliability in a high-performance solution designed specifically for operators’ current 3G and 4G backhaul needs. As a result of the long-term investment in fixed-access FTTH, Etisalat will continue extending the Zhone FiberCell solution to its LTE sites with the benefits of reduced deployment costs and efficient time to market.

To date, Zhone has deployed over 2,000 of its fully redundant, carrier-grade all-IP MXK platforms with more than 150 service providers in more than 40 countries globally. Zhone's MXK platform is a fully redundant, carrier-grade all-IP platform and the industry’s first terabit access concentrator. Featuring industry-leading density, scalability and switching capacity, the MXK provides non-blocking capacity of up to 3,600 100 Mbps GPON subscribers or 360 1G Active Ethernet subscribers.

For more information about Zhone’s MXK and FiberCell solutions, please visit http://www.zhone.com.

About Etisalat

An uncompromising commitment to excellence and innovation has seen Etisalat become one of the world's fastest-growing telecom groups, rapidly expanding across Asia and Africa. Its UAE operations, strategically located at the crossroads of East and West, enables Etisalat to be the major hub in the Middle East for Internet, voice, broadcast, roaming and corporate data services. Its stellar performance has won Etisalat recognition as 'Best Operator' ten times since 2006 and 'Best Wholesale Provider' four times in the last three years. Servicing over 110 million customers in 18 countries Etisalat continues to reach out to new customers and markets. For more information please visit www.etisalat.ae.

About Zhone Technologies

Zhone Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZHNE) is a global leader in all IP multi-service access solutions, serving more than 750 of the world's most innovative network operators. The IP Zhone is the only solution that enables service providers to build the network of the future…today, supporting end-to-end Voice, Data, Entertainment Social Media, Business, Mobile Backhaul and Mobility service. Zhone is committed to building the fastest and highest quality All IP Multi-Service solution for its customers. Zhone is headquartered in California and its products are manufactured in the USA in a facility that is emission, waste-water and CFC free. Zhone, the Zhone logo, and all Zhone product names are trademarks of Zhone Technologies, Inc. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective holders. Specifications, products, and/or product names are all subject to change without notice.

Forward-Looking Statements

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Copyright Business Wire 2010

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