HONG KONG, 27 May 2010 - Gulf Bridge International (GBI), the Middle East’s first privately owned submarine cable operator, and Pacnet, Asia’s leading independent telecommunications service provider, are pleased to announce a partnership which will extend both companies’ international connectivity and provide new and cost-effective solutions for customers.

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

Pacnet owns and operates EAC-C2C, a state-of-the-art fiber optic submarine cable network spanning 36,800 km across Asia, as well as EAC Pacific, a 9,620 km Trans-Pacific cable connecting Japan and the US. Through West Asia Crossing (WAC), a new submarine cable that it is building to connect Singapore and India, Pacnet will deliver seamless connectivity between India, Asia and the US on a single Pacnet network.

“I am delighted that GBI has concluded this partnership with Pacnet,” commented Mr. Hamad Al Mannai, Executive Vice Chairman of GBI. “Partnering the GBI cable system with Pacnet’s India to Asia network, will enable us to provide an end to end solution for our customer in these markets.” 

“Our partnership with GBI will deliver unprecedented high-speed connectivity between Asia and the Gulf region,” said Bill Barney, Chief Executive Officer of Pacnet. “This will allow our customers across Asia to directly connect to and tap the growing economies in the Middle East, while enabling businesses there to access the rapidly growing economies of Asia.” 

Upon signing the partnership, Mr. Ahmed Mekky, Board Member and CEO of GBI said “Both of our companies are investing heavily in infrastructure to better serve the forecast increase in traffic between the Middle East and Asia Pacific. This partnership with Pacnet is a major milestone for GBI as it extends GBI’s reach beyond our core cable system. However, this agreement goes beyond just connectivity, as it will enable both companies to work closely to develop and launch new and more cost-effective services for our customers.”

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 5 terabits per second on certain cable sections, the GBI Cable System will have the capability to meet the rapid growth in demand that has been forecast for traffic originating and terminating in Gulf. 

Source: Pacnet