The Harris applications that Wataniya will use, including the Harris NetBoss management system, will be fully installed by the middle of next year. The equipment enables the operator to manage centrally its entire network and detect and address faults before they affect service quality.

‘The Middle East is focusing more and more on customer care and is therefore a growing area for Harris’ services,’ says Rich Pappalardo, director of international sales for the NetBoss business unit. ‘With increasing competition, telecoms companies are finding that the provision of high quality customer services is a way of differentiating themselves from their rivals. Customers too now have high expectations of the services and are prepared and able to move operators to find them.’

Harris has already installed a number of NetBoss management systems in the region. In 1999, it provided Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco)with an advanced management system with added electronic billing equipment in a contract valued at BD 1.4 million ($3.7 million – MEED 6:8:99). It has also provided the NetBoss system to the defence ministries of Oman and Egypt. In the case of the latter, Harris was brought in by the prime contractor, Lucent Technologiesof the US.