Saudi Arabian telecoms operator Mobily is improving its network to cope with rising data traffic.

The new network will have high-speed capability to support applications that require greater bandwidth including mobile TV, video on demand and internet.

Mobily has chosen US-based network provider Ciena to build the infrastructure. The company provides core infrastructure to run fibre-optic networks and transport packets of data across the cables. Ciena’s technology can help its customers gain speeds of 100GB a second.

 “The Middle East is one of the biggest adopter of new technologies. The region has gone from second generation (2G) to 3G to Wimax, and now to LTE and next-generation speeds,” says Mashood Ahmed, managing director of Ciena Middle East.

New applications and the digitisation of different industries including health, banking and media are putting pressure on the networks.

Telecoms operators in the region are ill-prepared to cope with rising internet traffic. US consultancy firm Booz & Company published a report in January 2011 highlighting the need for further investment in networks. Smartphone sales are expected to grow 23 per cent annually through 2014 and will make up 37 per cent of total handset shipment. In 2009, smartphones made up only 16 per cent of total shipment.

Ciena began operations in the Middle East two years ago, working with telecoms operators, governments, oil and gas and utilities sectors.