Source: GBI news on 18 January, 2012
Earlier this week, Gulf Bridge International (GBI) landed in Al Faw the first subsea cable providing connectivity to Iraq. With broadband penetration in Iraq currently standing at less than 3%, the connection marks a significant milestone for the nation’s telecom sector. GBI’s high-capacity system, which lands with The Iraqi Telecommunications and Post Company (ITPC), allows potential to significantly increase broadband penetration across Iraq while boosting speed and reliability for the end-user.
“This is a historic milestone for GBI and the people of Iraq” commented Mr. Rashid Al Noaimi, GBI’s Chairman. “GBI’s vision is to facilitate social and economic growth across the region, and as a result of this new connectivity, Iraq will once more be on an even footing with their neighbors in the Gulf. I am very proud of the GBI technical team, who overcame many challenges, which for years had prevented and delayed similar initiatives, to be the first company to successfully deploy a subsea connection in Iraq.”
“The GBI cable is a crucial strategic initiative in the industry of subsea cables today using its impressive infrastructure to directly facilitate the development of all the countries connected to it”, commented Amir AL-Bayati, Deputy of the Iraqi Telecommunications and Post Company. He further stressed that: “This project is especially important to us as it will feed the ever growing hunger for capacity and connect the country to the rest of the world through the Gulf gateway. As an emerging market, Iraq has great development potential which comes as a result of the country’s strategic location. In parallel with other projects the country is embarking on, this cable will facilitate Iraq’s ability to realize its potential contributing not only to the development of the telecommunications sector in Iraq, but to the region as a whole.”
“GBI is the first subsea cable company owned in the Gulf. We care about the region and are backed by investors who care about the region,” said Ahmed Mekky, Board Member and CEO of GBI. “From a business standpoint, we are excited to connect to a market with such tremendous potential for growth. But beyond this, we are truly pleased to provide industry-leading infrastructure that can contribute to Iraq’s recovery. ICT infrastructure is critical in driving economic and social development by providing greater access to information sharing, economic opportunity and learning.”
GBI is based on a strong knowledge of regional demands and operates a network tailored specifically to meet the needs of the Gulf The GBI Cable System has a design capacity of 40G, roughly four times the Gulf’s current standard, with portions upgraded to 100G. The cable system will connect all the countries in the Gulf: Qatar, the UAE, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia in a ring configuration. Outside the Gulf, the cable connects eastwards to Mumbai, India and westwards to Sicily, Italy, with diverse routing to Milan and onwards to London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris and Marseilles.
Established in December 2008 with an initial investment of $445 million and completed in 2011, the GBI Cable System is designed to operate for up to 25 years. With high design capacity and resilient infrastructure, GBI possesses the capability to meet the rapid growth in demand that has been forecast for traffic originating and terminating in Gulf.