Etisalat Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Cisco to Deliver Software Defined Network Proof of Concept in the UAE

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Cisco to Supply, Deliver and Install Virtualization and SDN Proof of Concept Set Up in Etisalat's Fixed and Mobile Converged Network

BARCELONA, Mobile World Congress – March 10th 2015 – Etisalat, the UAE's leading telecommunications operator and Cisco have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the supply, delivery and implementation of a Cisco Virtualization and Software Defined Networking (SDN) hardware and software infrastructure into Etisalat's network.

The terms of the MoU, which is be operational for a six months period, allow Etisalat to explore the potential and benefits that can be obtained from deploying Cisco SDN solutions in order to help them shape their SDN and virtualization strategy. This Proof of Concept (PoC) will support Etisalat to gain the vital knowledge and experience of the different options for deploying SDN controllers as well as using SDN technologies to meet their current and future business needs.

Highlights/Key Facts:

  • Cisco Software Defined Networking (SDN) is enabling organizations to accelerate application deployment and delivery, thereby dramatically reducing IT costs through policy-enabled workflow automation.
  • SDN technology enables cloud architectures by delivering automated, on-demand application delivery and mobility at scale. It also enhances the benefits of data center virtualization, increasing resource flexibility and utilization and reducing infrastructure costs and overhead. SDN accomplishes these business objectives by converging the management of network and application services into centralized, extensible orchestration platforms that can automate the provisioning and configuration of the entire infrastructure. Common centralized IT policies bring together disparate IT groups and workflows. The result is a modern infrastructure that can deliver new applications and services in minutes, rather than days or weeks required in the past.
  • SDN delivers speed and agility when deploying new applications and business services. Flexibility, policy, and programmability are the hallmarks of Cisco's SDN solutions, with a platform capable of handling the most demanding networking need of today and tomorrow.

Executive Quotes:

Esmaeel Al Hammadi, Senior Vice President/Network Development, Etisalat:
Our partnerships with leading technology players such as Cisco supports our core philosophy to put our customer's needs at the forefront of our agenda. Increased connectivity and mobile penetration not only across the UAE but throughout the Middle East region, means that as a leading service provider, we needed to test virtualization and SDN Solutions that offer a cost effective and flexible approach. It helps us deliver real-world benefits for mainstream enterprises and respond to the ever-growing demands of today's 21st century technology.

Mr. Ali Amer, at Cisco:
We are proud and honored that Etisalat has chosen to continue to strategically collaborate with Cisco to test the next phase of their Virtualization and SDN growth plan. Once again they are proving to be forward-thinking and ahead of the curve. With the worldwide SDN market for Enterprise and Cloud Service provider segments expected to grow from $960M in 2014 to $8B by 2018, there is no time better than the present to prepare to deliver an unsurpassed customer service and product offering. With more than 50 million devices, 30 years of experience, and 6 million customer interactions each year, Cisco offers a full range of professional, solution, and product support service that will help Etisalat achieve innovative, agile, fast IT, aligned to its business needs.

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Press release issued by Corporate Communication Department – Etisalat

For further media information:
Iyad Al Zou'bi,
Corporate Communications – Etisalat
Tel +971 2 6182622, Mobile +971 50 6123568
Email or

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Steve Baron
+971 4 390 1950

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