Tata Communications and Middle Eastern Operators Launch Strategic Gulf Cable Project

Published November 24th, 2009 - 11:44 GMT

Tata Communications, a leading provider of a new world of communications, as part of its strategic intent to participate and assist in the rapid development of the Middle East Region, has signed strategic partnership agreements with several of the major telecommunications Operators in the Middle East to construct a new cable system into the Gulf. The new cable will connect the Region directly to the world's major business hubs and city centres via Tata's Global Network (the TGN).

The partners, Bahrain Internet Exchange in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Nawras of Oman, Qatar Telecom of Qatar, Mobily of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Etisalat of the United Arab Emirates will each be the exclusive landing party for the TGN Gulf Cable System in their respective geography. The cable and the relationships with the landing parties will be further developed to provide an extended portfolio of value added services for local and global enterprise customers who are very active in this rapidly expanding emerging market.

Vinod Kumar, President and COO of Tata Communications, said: "This partnership with the top operators in the Middle East to build the TGN Gulf Cable System underscores our aspirations to be a key player in the emerging markets space. Each of these partnerships will create mutual benefits that will multiply steadily as companies in the Middle East expand out to the rest of the world and as global MNCs seek connectivity to expand their operations to this fast growing region."

The TGN-Gulf Cable System and its associated worldwide reach provide new dimensions to the infrastructure and unique service capabilities for each of the partners. Using their own cable station, each party will have access to a new high-speed route to the globe and bring in much needed resilience and diversity to the infrastructure in each country. This capacity will enable the expansion in broadband penetration, Internet usage and enterprise applications in each market.

Mr. Mohamed Al-Thawadi the Executive Director of Bahrain Internet Exchange (BIX) said "BIX has been providing services to the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) since 2005 with the objectives of ensuring high speed at low costs. This new submarine cable system represents a significant telecommunications infrastructure investment for BIX and will cater for the high-speed and broadband international connectivity requirements for enterprises based in the Kingdom of Bahrain. It allows for the fast and cost effective provisioning of capacity from the Kingdom of Bahrain to the world's major business hubs and city centres. By providing an additional cable system through the TGN-Gulf, BIX will enable much needed capacity growth to maintain the unprecedented expansion in data, Internet and media traffic usage as well as improving physical diversity and overall connectivity out of the Kingdom of Bahrain. BIX also foresees a huge reduction in prices as compared to the current situation, which will be beneficial to all the users of the Internet."

Nawras Chief Executive Officer, Ross Cormack, said, "Nawras combines great value and pleasingly different service to consistently deliver the highest levels of customer-friendly communication services for customers. This is why we choose to work with the most experienced partners and those recognized for being leading global providers of communication delivery solutions. In cementing this agreement with TATA, we are really enthusiastic to be building our own international connection to the rest of the world to provide Nawras customers with the quality of international service and value added services which they rightly demand.

Mr. Ahmed Derbesti (Executive Director International Services) of Qtel Q.S.C. "Qtel is delighted to announce this agreement with TATA, which will bring a new global, and much needed resilient, submarine cable to Qatar. The enhanced capacity provided by this cabling solution will help ensure rapid growth of Broadband Services across Qatar. We are also proud to be representing Qatar as part of this major alliance, which commits to deliver efficient International telecom services to the people of the Gulf."

Mr. Abdulaziz Al-Tamami, COO of Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said that the partnership agreement is in line with Mobily's plans to provide global connectivity and reach and high bandwidth for the company's data arm Bayanat Al-Oula, providing high quality data and voice services that will boost the Kingdom's information-driven business sector. He also noted that TGN will complement Mobily's existing Fiber Optic Network that links the Kingdom's regions and neighboring countries and be able to leverage such connectivity and reach to serve the national, regional and international clients. "Mobily is delighted to partner Tata Communications and tap on one of the world's largest submarine cable networks that complement Mobily's existing regional infrastructure. The deal will enhance connectivity and services between Mobily's customers in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world," Al-Tamami said.

Mr. Ali Amiri, EVP - Carrier & Wholesale Services of Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (ETISALAT) said, "Partnering with Tata Communications to increase the region's resiliency, connectivity and capacity through a new cable to India and the rest of the world is a strategic move which will benefit everyone. This new cable, with it's dual UAE landings, will provide additional resiliency and diversity to our global connectivity solutions. Needless to say, the UAE economy as well as those in neighboring markets who choose to be connected through TGN-Gulf cable will tremendously benefit from Etisalat's diversified connectivity and extended reach."

Radwan Moussalli, Tata Communications' Managing Director for Middle East and North Africa (MENA), said: "The TGN Gulf cable system will be added to the global network that Tata Communications already owns and operates. We are delighted to be in partnership with such progressive and committed companies to achieve this milestone to our global network. The benefit derived from such partnerships will in turn benefit the Middle East region - allowing the already progressive region to grow by leaps and bounds. This step reiterates our commitment to the Middle East region."

The state-of-the-art cable system will connect the region to the rest of the world via Tata's Global Network ensuring reliable high speed bandwidth for the region.


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