News Release

Batelco Powers Bahrain's e-Government Broadband Drive with Metro Ethernet to the Business network from Cisco

Batelco selects Cisco Metro Ethernet Switching to provide Gigabit Ethernet Broadband access over fiber to government and commercial organisations
Oct 10, 2002

MANAMA, Bahrain, October 10, 2002 - Cisco Systems today announced that the Bahrain Telecommunications Co (Batelco), has selected the Cisco Metro Ethernet Switching portfolio to help provide next-generation business broadband connectivity over a fiber network as part of Bahrain's e-Government initiative. Batelco has access to existing dark fiber in Manama and is expanding the reach of this fiber as a foundation of both the country's Government Data Network (GDN) and commercial business connectivity in Manama using broadband Metro Ethernet Solutions from Cisco Systems.

By applying Cisco Ethernet to the Business switching solutions, Batelco will initially be able to cost-effectively connect all of Bahrain's government Ministries with a high-speed broadband network, and help commercial institutions migrate existing Wide Area Network (WAN) connectivity to Gigabit Ethernet over fiber. The new Ethernet infrastructure will help provide much greater flexibility and granularity in the way that bandwidth is provisioned. Batelco will use Cisco IOS software to manage and modify bandwidth allocations on an individual customer basis.

"You cannot hope to build an innovative e-Government service on yesterday's technology," said Batelco Chief Executive Tony Hart. "Only through the deployment of the very latest technologies can we ensure that we have the ability to manage the Government's future requirements - and this is the reason we have chosen to work closely with Cisco Systems. Our role in developing e-Government for the nation is yet further evidence that Batelco is building an 'intelligent Kingdom' in Bahrain."

The new Ethernet and fiber-based network will provide a foundation for the delivery of advanced services such as MPLS-based Virtual Private Network connectivity between sites (VPNs), video conferencing, video-on-demand, e-Learning and IP Telephony in the future. The next-generation network will also help enable the ministries to transfer and exchange government data, applications and information as part of Bahrain's accelerating e-Government drive.

"Building an Ethernet and fiber-based broadband access network will help provide a flexible infrastructure to underpin Bahrain's e-Government initiative and help Batelco to provide innovative commercial services in the future," said Ghazi Atallah, Cisco's director of operations for the Middle East and North Africa. "Batelco has demonstrated vision in choosing this next-generation model to serve commercial and governmental customers in the Middle East with next-generation broadband connectivity today."

Working with Schlumberger Network and Infrastructure Solutions, a Cisco Silver Certified Channel Partner in Bahrain, Batelco is building a Metro Ethernet Switching architecture powered by Catalyst® 3550 switches at the network edge, together with the Cisco ONT 1031 (Optical Network Terminator) within customer sites, and Cisco 7600 and Cisco 7200 Series Internet routers in the broadband aggregation layer,. The new architecture will also include the Cisco Ethernet Subscriber Edge Solution Engine for managing the fiber end-points within customers' premises.

Batelco is deploying Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) within the core to differentiate and streamline traffic types, and provide the basis for rolling out Voice over IP, and video services in the future. For more information on Cisco Metro Solutions, please visit