Bahrain enhances connectivity via FLAG Telecom's FALCON cable system

July 28, 2004 Manama, Bahrain -- Batelco, Bahrain's national telecommunications operator, has announced a massive multi-million dollar investment in the country's communications infrastructure with the signing of an historic agreement that provides a landing station for FLAG Telecom's FALCON cable system in Bahrain. The agreement will mean that the country's global connections are vastly improved via submarine links stretching to Egypt in the west and to Hong Kong in the East.

Jul 28th, 2004

July 28, 2004 Manama, Bahrain -- Batelco, Bahrain's national telecommunications operator, has announced a massive multi-million dollar investment in the country's communications infrastructure with the signing of an historic agreement that provides a landing station for FLAG Telecom's FALCON cable system in Bahrain. The agreement will mean that the country's global connections are vastly improved via submarine links stretching to Egypt in the west and to Hong Kong in the East.

In addition, Batelco has signed a capacity agreement, purchasing international connectivity on the cable system to allow it to connect directly to any point on the FLAG global network. The capacity purchase will provide a four-fold increase in resilient international circuits into and out of Bahrain and--for the first time--offer loop protection within the Gulf region, say company representatives.

"This enormous investment represents a tremendous strategic step by Batelco that will allow The Kingdom of Bahrain to benefit from direct connectivity with the world's key metropolitan centers for the first time ever, reports Batelo's chairman, Rasheed Al-Maraj. "Bahrain is a high-growth economy, and Bateclo is determined to provide the infrastructure needed to support and drive development for our region."

"FALCON will be the first cable system to provide fully protected connectivity within the Gulf and will allow Bahrain to diversify its current capacity arrangements," addss Tony Hart, chief executive at Batelco. "FALCON will also have many times more capacity than the existing regional links. This terabit connectivity will enable Batelco to confidently roll out broadband and other advanced telecommunications services to our customers, at faster speeds and more cost-effectively than ever before."

The FALCON cable incorporates the Gulf region's first self-healing submarine network ring, providing all countries connected to the high-capacity cable with reliable, high-quality connectivity. Countries that have the potential to directly access this resilient connectivity include Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Iran, and Iraq. Branching units can be added along the entire FALCON cable route to allow more countries in the region to connect to the system as their communications needs continue to expand.

From the Gulf, the western link of the FALCON system follows a route across the top of the Arabian Sea and through the Red Sea, where it will interconnect with FLAG's global network at Telecom Egypt's landing station at Suez.

Travelling from Oman along its easterly link, FALCON will cross the Arabian Sea to a new Reliance-owned landing station at Mumbai, India. At this point, FALCON will interconnect seamlessly to Reliance's pan-India, 80,000-km, high-speed backbone network linking approximately 1,100 cities and towns across the length and breadth of the country. From Chennai on the East coast of India, FALCON will link India to Hong Kong, where the cable will once again integrate with FLAG's global network.

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