Batelco connects to FLAG's Falcon network

Batelco has signed a multi million dinar agreement to gain access to FLAG Telecom's upcoming Falcon network.

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By  Richard Agnew Published  July 28, 2004

Batelco has signed a multi million dinar agreement to gain access to FLAG Telecom's upcoming Falcon network. The deal, aimed at improving the country's global connectivity, will provide a landing station in Bahrain for the high-speed submarine system, which will run between Egypt and Hong Kong. Batelco has also agreed to purchase international connectivity from FLAG, allowing it to connect directly to any point on the provider's global network. The operator says that the move will provide a four-fold increase in resilient international circuits into and out of Bahrain, as well as loop protection within the Gulf. The move follows the announcement in May that Oman will also provide a dual landing station for the network and purchase capacity on Falcon, which is expected to cost around US$300 million and launch early next year. It also comes shortly after the full liberalisation of the Bahraini telecoms market at the start of July. "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," says Tony Hart, chief executive, Batelco. "FALCON will also have many times more capacity than the existing regional links. This Tbits/s connectivity will enable Batelco to confidently roll out broadband and other advanced telecoms services to our customers, at faster speeds and more cost-effectively than ever before," he adds. “These agreements underscore the regional importance of direct connectivity to high-quality, terabit capacity,” says Patrick Gallagher, CEO, FLAG Telecom. “FLAG has worked closely with our valued partner, Batelco, for many years and - through FALCON - we will continue to support the global connectivity needs of Bahrain and the wider region,” he adds. In a recent report, IDC CEMA predicted that Bahrain is now well placed to become a hub for IP traffic in the region, pointing to lucrative opportunities for new entrants to provide wholesale connectivity between Middle East countries and international destinations.

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