ENGINE, Ericsson's industry leading softswitch solution, will enable Batelco to cost-efficiently integrate different types of data and voice traffic on the same network and to offer new services to its customers. Batelco will also deploy Ericsson DSL Access Solution to offer third generation Asymmetric DSL (ADSL) technology to its customers. Implementation is to start immediately.

"Batelco is seeking cost efficiency and Ericsson's ENGINE network contributes to our achieving this goal by providing a cost-efficient solution connected to fixed network and broadband applications. In addition, the new platform will open new business opportunities within interconnect areas," said Tony Hart, CEO Batelco.

"We are pleased that Batelco has chosen to take advantage of the cost-saving potential that ENGINE and Ethernet DSL Access provide, and we hope that our co-operation will further optimize Batelco's network. With this contract, Ericsson further establishes its position as the leading provider of packet-based solutions for fixed networks," said Bo Nilsson, Vice President and Head of Ericsson Middle East.

ENGINE gives Batelco a future-proof migration path to evolve their circuit-switched network to a multi-service network. ENGINE is capable of carrying large and growing volumes of voice and data traffic and enables integrated traditional fixed telephony with IP-based broadband traffic on a single network.

Batelco will initially use the solution to start modernizing their existing local network. Included in the contract is also the replacement of an international switch and an interconnect switch to second operator.

Ericsson will also provide ADSL lines using its new ultra-compact, scalable Ethernet DSL Access solution. The solution enables standard ADSL lines to be offered economically at smaller sites (starting from ten subscribers) and uses Ethernet technology to provide cost-effective high-bandwidth links in the 'second mile' network.

Ericsson is shaping the future of Mobile and Broadband Internet communications through its continuous technology leadership. Providing innovative solutions in more than 140 countries, Ericsson is helping to create the most powerful communication companies in the world.
About Ericsson's Softswitch Solutions
ENGINE Integral, is optimized for traditional services with full PSTN/ISDN and IN functionality - targeting the Telephony Domain. ENGINE Multimedia, is targeted at the Multimedia Domain and includes a softswitch optimized for new ways of communicating for a richer consumer experience. Both softswitch solutions can interwork with each other and are managed by the same management system.

Ericsson's Softswitch Solutions are unique in today's market for their ability to give operators a total business solution by providing complete telephony service support. The solutions also enable operators to smoothly and efficiently introduce emerging multimedia services.

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About Ericsson's Ethernet DSL Access Solution
Ericsson's Ethernet DSL Access solution enables fixed network operators to deploy the required second-mile bandwidth at less than half of the cost of equivalent ATM-based bandwidth. By avoiding concentration in the DSLAM and connecting directly to an Ethernet aggregation network, the new solution opens up the possibility to support high bandwidth-demanding services without DSLAM bottlenecks, while at the same time reducing transport costs ten-fold. This dramatically alters the economics of rolling out DSL and enables operators to address the 'second wave' of broadband subscribers profitably, following the initial early-adopter wave.

A key advantage of providing DSL services in this way is that existing standardized DSL interfaces are unchanged. The subscriber simply uses a standard DSL modem, which the Ethernet connection from the PC or LAN plugs into in the normal way.

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