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15 July 2024

Etisalat says vital services not affected

By Anjana Sankar



Etisalat has assured that internet and essential services will continue to function despite the delay in fixing undersea cables, shared by du and etisalat, which were cut last week.

In a statement issued yesterday, etisalat announced it is closely monitoring the disruption in internet services in the UAE due to cable cuts suffered by its international service providers Flag and Sea-ME-We4. Etisalat has prioritised internet traffic and essential services important to customers to ensure that they continue to operate with minimal impact.

Estimates from Flag, which operates one of the cut cables in the Arabia Sea and another off the coast of Egypt, revealed they expect the problem to be resolved by February 15.

Meanwhile, Sea-ME-We4, which also has a damaged cable in the Mediterranean, said theirs will be repaired by February 8.

According to Flag, a repair ship is on its way to Dubai to work on the Falcon Cable that runs from the UAE to Oman, which was cut on Friday at 9.59am in the UAE, 56km from Dubai.

The break came two days after two undersea cables off the coast of Egypt were breached causing severe disruptions to internet access across the region.

Etisalat said the heavy investment it has made in building a robust network with redundant links to major global internet hubs in Asia, Europe, and the United States, has ensured the traffic can be re-routed, keeping internet services up and running in the UAE.

In terms of its ongoing efforts, etisalat said it is trying to ensure minimal disruption to customers through efforts including redirecting traffic and increasing capacity on other links following the cable break.

Redundant links deployed by etisalat for such an eventuality has meant that normal internet browsing will continue to work at reasonable speeds for the company’s customers. Etisalat has also prioritised services to business customers to ensure they are protected from the unexpected disruption.

Etisalat added that it has also rendered assistance to du – the UAE’s second telecom operator – as the company also suffered disruption to international calling capabilities due to the cut.

For its part, du said the cable cut has impacted international voice calls through the du network, but it is rerouting most of its international voice traffic through some of etisalat’s international routes.

“Flag and Sea-ME-We4 have activated their emergency repair process.

“Given the proximity of the two systems, it is likely that one ship will do both repairs. While no schedule is available yet for the repair, initial estimates indicate it will take at least two weeks to repair the Flag cable,” said du in a statement.

Du has also implemented a new routing plan to re-route its international outbound voice traffic on other available routes and secured more capacity for internet access in order to provide its UAE customers service that is as close to normal levels as possible.

They said they are also monitoring the performance of international outbound voice service and making adjustments to minimise the impact on customers.