French equipment supplier Alcatel-Lucent has announced that it has been hired by Saudi Telecom Company (STC) to expand, extend and upgrade its existing broadband networks to reach an additional two million residential and corporate customers by the end of 2010. Under the frame contract, Alcatel-Lucent will provide its packet optical transport solution for traffic aggregation and ethernet business services, along with its DSL and GPON technology. The network upgrade will bring triple-play services, including fixed line telephony, broadband and IPTV, to underserved areas across Saudi Arabia. ‘Our strong presence in Saudi Arabia and our history with STC enabled us to understand its network requirements, and work together to provide the best solution in an optimal timeframe,’ said Vincenzo Nesci, Alcatel-Lucent’s vice president for Middle East and Africa. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, STC’s ADSL networks covered around 95% of the Saudi population at the end of June 2009, providing broadband services to approximately 1.1 million customers.