Tata Communications and Middle Eastern operators launch Gulf Cable project

NOVEMBER 24, 2009 -- The new TGN Gulf Cable System will connect the region directly to India and to the rest of the world.

NOVEMBER 24, 2009 -- As part of its strategic intent to participate and assist in the rapid development of the Middle East Region, Tata Communications has signed partnership agreements with several of the major telecom 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 geographies. The cable and the relationships with the landing parties will be further developed to provide an extended portfolio of services for local and global enterprise customers who are active in this emerging market.

"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 market space," says Vinod Kumar, president and COO of Tata Communications. "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."

Using their own cable station, each party will have access to a new high-speed route to the globe and bring in 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.

Says Mohamed Al-Thawadi, executive director of Bahrain Internet Exchange (BIX),"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 centers."

"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," adds Nawras chief executive officer Ross Cormack.

Abdulaziz Al-Tamami, chief operating officer of Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia says 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 notes 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.

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