Monday, January 12, 2009

Saudi Telecom Optimizes Network to Handle Hajj Pilgrimage Crowds

Saudi Telecommunications (STC), in partnership with Nokia Siemens Networks, has successfully handled another year of the holy Hajj pilgrimage, a two weeks long event includes millions of visitors and results in a huge increase in mobile traffic.

The companies said preparing for the Hajj from a network perspective involves dedicated teams for planning, optimization, and implementation. First, line maintenance and network monitoring teams must be deployed very quickly, and the network must be geared up to handle high traffic generated by pilgrims moving in three different areas. To accommodate this traffic load, STC implemented a specialized software solution developed by Nokia Siemens Networks enabling STC to improve call processing and boost Base Station Controller performance by solving unforeseen problems. The implementation involved setting up and rolling out many Base Station Controllers (BSCs), Base Tower Stations (BTS) not to mention a number of firsts such as mega BSCs and High Speed Signaling (HSL) Links. EDGE was also used for the first time in the Hajj area to provide high throughput for multimedia applications. Field teams maintained the network around the clock, with nonstop monitoring and remote support services. After the Hajj, over, 90% of the network is drawn down, going off air.

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