Saudi Arabia waves the Flag

Saudi Arabia has become the latest country to join the Falcon project after Integrated Telecom Company (ITC) signed an agreement with Flag Telecom to grant its Falcon cable system full landing stations at Jeddah and near Ad Dammam.

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By  Caroline Denslow Published  May 15, 2005

Saudi Arabia has become the latest country to join the Falcon project after Integrated Telecom Company (ITC) signed an agreement with Flag Telecom to grant its Falcon cable system full landing stations at Jeddah and near Ad Dammam. Similar agreements have been signed with Bahrain, Egypt, India, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar. “ITC’s position in the Kingdom’s telecommunication market makes it an ideal partner for Flag as part of the Falcon project,” said Walid Irshaid, president of Flag Telecom Middle East & Africa. “Flag is committed to meeting the global communications needs of its partners in the region and the formal signing of these agreements marks the start of what I’m sure will be a successful ongoing relationship between our two companies.” Falcon is a new submarine cable system that is being installed in several countries across the Middle East to support the rollout of advanced broadband services throughout the region. The plan is to create a route which will extend over 10,000 kilometres and form a communications link between countries in the Middle East and India. Member countries, through authorised telecom providers, provide landing stations rights to Falcon. Landing stations are sites where Flag Telecom’s submarine cable systems come ashore. Flag Telecom expects the project to be completed within the year, with initial service deployments scheduled for 4Q05. The minimum design capacity of the system is at 1.28 Tbits per second. Falcon will also provide the Gulf with its first self-healing submarine network ring to ensure reliable connectivity. Once it is up and running, the cable will enable ITC to provide high quality, direct access to international networks from Saudi Arabia’s east and west coasts, according to Flag Telecom. Last March, ITC was awarded one of two data licenses in Saudi Arabia, giving it the right to build, operate and maintain wired and wireless networks for data services, including international gateways and exchanges. ITC will start operations in three months time. “This significant investment in landing stations on the east and west coast and the purchase of capacity on Falcon is a strategic element in our plans to provide our customers within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with reliable, direct international connectivity on one global network,” said Dr. Mohammed Omar, president & chief executive officer of ITC. “The network diversity provided via the two landing stations, together with the added protection of the Falcon loop system within the Gulf, will assist us in meeting our aim of providing our customers with a world-class infrastructure to meet their growing demands for fast internet and value-added services,” Omar added.

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