Gulf telcos team up on 1,400km fibre network

Vodafone UK joins forces with four GCC operators to build cable system

Tags: BahrainEmirates Integrated Telecommunications Company KuwaitQatarSaudi ArabiaUnited Arab EmiratesVodafoneVodafone QatarZain Group ( International Telecommunications Company
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Gulf telcos team up on 1,400km fibre network Vodafone formed the co-operative with du, Vodafone Qatar, Kuwait’s Zain and Zajil, an ISP in Bahrain and Kuwait. (Getty Images.)
By  Roger Field Published  October 1, 2013

UK operator Vodafone is collaborating with three operators in the Gulf to build a land-based transmission cable system to link the Middle East and Europe.

Vodafone has formed a consortium with the UAE's du, Vodafone Qatar, Kuwait's Zain and Zajil, an ISP in Bahrain and Kuwait.

The 100G fibre-optic system, to be called the Middle East-Europe Terrestrial System (MEETS), will stretch over 1,400km.

MEETS will have an initial capacity of 200Gbps and be carried over an optical ground wire associated with a regional high-tension electricity network, reducing the risk of cable cuts.

MEETS will cater to regional and international ICT companies, meeting their wholesale capacity needs, while providing a connection to new areas and end users.

MEETS was announced at a press conference held in Dubai yesterday on the sidelines of the Telecoms World Middle East event.

Attendees included Osman Sultan, CEO, du; Niraj Singh, business services director, Vodafone Qatar; Henri Kassab, group director of international wholesale and roaming, Zain Group and head of Mada Bahrain; Khalifa Al-Soulah, MD & CEO, Zajil Telecom; and, Mahesh Jaishankar, Vice President, datamena.

Du will be the landing party in the UAE while Vodafone Qatar will be in Qatar, Zain in Saudi Arabia, and Zajil in Bahrain and Kuwait.

MEETS is designed to be an economically and technically competitive alternative for connectivity within the Gulf; it will also enable a terrestrial route to Europe for reduced latency and higher reliability. Carriers will be able to access MEETS from the Fujairah Landing Station or at the carrier neutral hub datamena.

Osman Sultan, CEO, du, said: "Customers in the Middle East today have ever-increasing high speed data needs as it is becoming an integral part of today's lifestyle. The announcement of MEETS with like-minded partners is a step towards realising this need."

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