du Invests in $700m Europe India Gateway Undersea Cable System
du, the integrated telecom operator in the UAE announced that it has signed a construction and maintenance agreement (C&MA) to build the first direct, high-bandwidth optical-fiber submarine cable system from the United Kingdom to India. The Europe India Gateway (EIG) cable system, which will cost more than US$700 million, will significantly enhance capacity and diversity between the countries of these regions. It brings in considerable diversity and bandwidth into the Middle East while providing global access to operators in the region.
The agreement forms a key part of du’s international strategy to position itself as a hub for regional telecommunication services. EIG also gives du the ability to provide its triple play customers with added diversity and resilience for voice, data and video services.
Explaining the need for such a strategic investment, Osman Sultan, CEO, du, said: “The project will bring resilience and diversity to du’s network and position the UAE as a regional business destination with broadband capacity feeding into the country through diverse entry and exit points. The cable will be accessed through a new landing station in Fujairah and will offer an additional cable landing station into the UAE adding diversity to the existing facilities from telecoms operators in the country.”
Commenting on the benefits of the international partnership, Andrew Grenville, EVP International & wholesale, said: “This next generation fiber-optic cable agreement underscores our commitment to becoming the telecom partner of choice. There is a world-wide growing demand for international capacity and EIG will meet the high bandwidth requirement and provide diversity for our traffic to Europe and the Indian subcontinent which are key destinations for our voice and data traffic."
The EIG cable system, targeted to be operational in second quarter of 2010, is a 15,000 kilometer (9,000 mile) system that will connect 13 countries and three continents. Landings are planned in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Gibraltar, Morocco, Monaco, France, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Oman, United Arab Emirates and India.
In addition to serving these regions, the EIG cable system will also provide seamless interconnection with other major cable systems connecting Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. The system will utilize state-of-art next-generation technology that is designed to provide up to 3.84 terabits per second (Tbps) using dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) to provide upgradeable transmission facilities that support Internet, e-commerce, video, data and voice services.
The EIG cable system will also complement existing high-bandwidth cable systems in the region, providing much-needed diversity for broadband traffic currently relying largely on traditional routes from Europe to India. This is important from a disaster recovery point of view. The EIG cable system, with its large bandwidth and high-quality transmission technology, will help meet the present and future growth in telecommunications traffic between the targeted regions.
Other global operators that are part of the consortium are AT&T; Bharti Airtel; BT; C&W; Djibouti Telecom; Gibtelecom; IAM; Libyan Post, Telecom, and Information Technology Company; Mauritius Telecom; MTN Group Ltd; Omantel; PT Comunicações, S.A.; Saudi Telecom Company; Telecom Egypt; Telkom SA Ltd and Verizon Business.
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