The National Bank of Oman (NBO), the largest local bank in Oman, recently chose Infinet Wireless' solutions for the deployment of its new national network, one that is reliable enough to connect all its mission critical applications and linking up the bank's local branches, its main training center and head office. According to the statement, the main criteria for choosing Infinet was its ability to deliver optimal connectivity, “always-on” and cost-effective. This new platform was also able to overcome previous challenges related to the bank's legacy network, primarily based on the Free Space Optics technology.
The National Bank of Oman SAOG was the first incorporated bank in the Sultanate of Oman (Oman). Established in 1973, today NBO operates in five vertical segments: retail banking, treasury and international banking, corporate banking, investment banking, and Islamic banking. It has over 60 branches and 173 ATMs and Cash Deposit Machines spread across the country, serving a considerable portion of the country’s five million population.
According to the statement, NBO’s previous platform based on old FSO technology did not deliver on its promises, with many day-to-day challenges hampering the bank's operations and transactions. Coupled with the high cost of leasing, badly-needed capacity from a private operator, the laser-based platform was often disrupted by adverse weather conditions such as interference from the sun, dust storms, fog and heavy rain. After testing a number of alternative solutions, Infinet Wireless was approached by the bank, and was quickly deemed to offer the best price-performance ratio, whilst still allowing for future growth as and when the bank's needs change.
To address the challenges faced by NBO, Infinet Wireless deployed a Point-to-Point (P2P) solution across many districts of Muscat, over distances between 5 and 10 kilometers. Up to 3 branches per remote node were connected to the head office using the InfiLINK 2x2 and InfiLINK XG 1000 product families. The InfiLINK 2x2 is a highly diversified range of wireless Point-to-Point units which delivers up to 650 Mbps with a rich set of features and cost-effectiveness for high-capacity last mile connectivity. The InfiLINK XG 1000 is a range of products that offers unparalleled speed, reliability and flexibility. It can provide throughput of up to 1 Gbps over the air in license-free frequency bands. The InfiLINK XG 1000 was specifically designed to deliver superior performance over long distances and in extremely adverse environments, including nLOS and NLOS scenarios.
“This project demonstrates the adaptability of our solutions to various environmental conditions, as well as the peace of mind we are able to offer to deliver mission critical data transactions for all banking applications. We have built a highly secure infrastructure for the bank which will not only meet the bank's needs today, but also cater for any future services it wishes to offer its customers. We are very honored to participate in modernizing the banking sector in Oman and enable NBO in its pursuit to deliver modern banking services and facilities across the country,” said Kamal Mokrani, Global Vice President at Infinet Wireless.
To implement the network, Infinet Wireless cooperated with its local partner Hussam Technology Company LLC (HTC). HTC worked with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Oman to ensure that the final wireless platform met all regulatory standards. All private and public wireless networks in Oman require regulatory approval before deployment.
“In partnership with Infinet Wireless, we have helped deliver a wireless network fit for the Bank’s critical day-to-day operations. This was a project that required conforming to the highest standards due to the sensitive nature of the bank’s operations, as well as ensuring that the network met the requirements of the national telecommunications regulator. It has been a pleasure working with Infinet Wireless on this project, who showed professionalism, technical and commercial flexibility,” Mithilesh Singh, Information Communication Technology Director at HTC, commenting on the development.