Meditel Morocco: All in one
Meditel Morocco evolves its packet backbone network to provide multiservice capabilities
In the last ten years the Moroccan telecoms market has grown dramatically. Meditel is the second largest operator of three in Morocco, where the market trend is for prepaid voice, data and internet services.
Today, Meditel is evolving its Mobile Packet Backbone Network (MPBN) infrastructure in partnership with Ericsson, to develop new fixed line services. Ericsson is adapting the existing MPBN IP infrastructure solution to provide comprehensive multi-service network connectivity. This will enable Meditel to expand its portfolio to satisfy the multi-service requirements of corporate and enterprise users.
Manuel Garcia, CTO, Meditel Morocco explains why Meditel chose to upgrade its existing equipment: "We realized that we have a very good infrastructure in place that can support fixed and mobile services, however we needed to increase the number of services supported on the network. Therefore we decided to modernize our existing MPBN infrastructure.
Following the evolution, Meditel is able to address more of its customers' business requirements with new fixed-line offerings, such as VPLS and multicast-based services. Expanding the existing infrastructure involves a modest investment in comparison to implementing new technology. The wider service offering will benefit existing customers and attract new customers. This will increase the operator's subscriber numbers and revenue without significantly increasing its capex and opex.
Manuel Garcia reflects on how both the potential and the meaning of MPBN are evolving: "At the beginning, the M stood for Mobile. Now it's really Multi-service. We are very confident that it's the future. It will be able to support not only the services that we are implementing now but also new services that we are going to develop and implement in the future."
With access to new types of services based on VPLS and multicast on top of their existing offering, users will have the ability to link different entities through LAN-to-LAN, and multicast services such as video conferencing, in addition to single voice services. Adil Biaz, Senior Manager IP Networks, Meditel Morocco talks about the process: "The challenges were to avoid having any failure in the network during the migration. With this solution our customers will have a convergent network on which they can have their data, voice and internet access, one single operator with a resilient network so I think this is a benefit for them."
Ericsson's MPBN solution includes the evolution of the network infrastructure as well as professional services such as project management, high-level design, system integration, acceptance and migration. By having a single point of contact, Meditel is able to reduce integration risks, and because Ericsson has the full picture of the lifecycle management process it can cater for any arising support issues. The operational benefits of managing a single network infrastructure are that less equipment is required in comparison with parallel networks; manageability is increased and less space is needed, along with reductions in energy and equipment sparing.
Nabil El Almi, Project Manager, Ericsson Morocco explains: "What is significant about this project is that we are using an existing infrastructure to offer additional fixed services which means that we are reaching convergence in the Meditel network. This opens the door to further opportunities, allowing Meditel to position itself as an innovator in the Moroccan telecom market and be seen as the technology provider for enterprise customers."
Meditel and Ericsson's relationship dates back to Meditel's inception over ten years ago. As well as working on the MPBN infrastructure, the two partners are involved in many other activities including radio, transmission, system integration and consultancy work. The relationship provided a good base to extend the capabilities of an already-deployed network infrastructure solution.
Manuel Garcia concludes: "Ericsson has a very good comprehension of our needs, and has a good support network installed not only in the country but the world. So it's our natural partner for this kind of project and we are quite confident on the evolution of the MPBN to our needs and services."
Customer: Meditel, Morocco
Offer multi-service capabilities.
Evolve MPBN infrastructure.
Ensure smooth migration.
Enable new revenue streams
Maximize use of existing infrastructure
Satisfy requirements of enterprise and corporate users
Modernize MPBN infrastructure
Meditel's infrastructure carries 2G and 3G services for 10 million active subscribers and is used for both fixed and mobile traffic. Thanks to the upgrade of its Mobile Packet Backbone Network (MPBN), Meditel has a truly converged network which will enable it to support multi-service capabilities and provide a wider portfolio.
Ericsson supplied a MPBN upgrade which provides IP infrastructure for Packet Switched and Circuit Switched Core network connectivity. As part of the contract Ericsson also offered professional services including project management, high-level design, system integration, acceptance and migration.
The multi-service infrastructure now has the capacity to support Virtual Private LAN Services (VPLS) and provide Ethernet-based multipoint to multipoint communication. VPLS makes it possible to interconnect several LAN segments, which behave as one single LAN. Customers benefit because they can connect all of their sites located in different geographic areas, in a secure, high speed and homogenous network.
Meditel will be able to support multipoint data services, for example videoconferencing, as well as corporate Multicast services. These allow users to simultaneously send messages or information to a group of destination computers in a single transmission.
Meditel is the second largest operator in Morocco. It began its commercial operations at the turn of the millennium and now holds 35 percent of the market share.
Meditel operates in a very mature and competitive market that has grown significantly in the last ten years. The company has invested heavily in its network and is a strong challenger to the incumbent operator.
Operating in a pre-paid market, Meditel offers a wide portfolio including voice, data and internet services. Its headquarters are based in Casablanca.