Du-Gulf Bridge deal to provide greater connectivity in UAE

Cable system to be launched in 2011 will improve communications across the region. (EB FILE)

Telecom provider du and submarine cable operator Gulf Bridge International (GBI) yesterday signed an agreement that will improve communications across the region and benefit consumers and businesses in the UAE's growing economy.

Under the agreement, du will be the landing party for a new submarine cable operated by GBI, the Middle East's first privately-owned submarine cable operator.

The cable will land at du's newly built Fujairah Cable Landing Station.

The launch of GBI's cable system will provide telecom operators and other communications companies, both in the region and globally, with greater choice and resilience. The cable system, which will utilise the latest subsea fibre cable technology, will connect all the countries of the Gulf to each other and provide onward connectivity to Europe and Asia.

Scheduled to launch in 2011 and designed to operate for up to 25 years, the GBI cable system will connect all the Gulf countries via a core ring, which can re-route traffic, thereby increasing resilience. With a design capacity of up to five terabits per second on certain cable sections, the GBI cable system is expected to have the capability to meet the rapid growth in demand that has been forecast for traffic originating and terminating in the Gulf.

Hamad Al Mannai, Executive Vice-Chairman, GBI, said: "It is a great pleasure to land and operate the GBI cable system in such an important country as the UAE. The opportunity to partner with du will enable GBI to address the increased demand for international connectivity that is forecast for the UAE, as it continues to grow and diversify its business base."

Ahmed Mekky, GBI's CEO, said: "The UAE is an important market for GBI. It is one of the most communication-intensive countries in the Middle East and geographically important because of its proximity and ease of connectivity to other international sub-sea cables.

"This new landing station, which will connect the UAE to the GBI cable system, will improve communications across the region and benefit consumers and businesses alike as the UAE's economy continues to grow."

Osman Sultan, du's CEO, said: "The cable-landing facility will add strength to our existing facilities and reinforce our position as a hub for international traffic into and out of the Middle East.

"GBI's cable will add further resilience and diversity to our existing submarine cables, allowing us to offer better quality of service to our customers and increase our reach in key markets.

"The UAE will benefit from greater connectivity and access to more capacity, that will further stimulate demand for bandwidth-hungry services like cloud computing and outsourced services."

 

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