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Gulf Bridge appoints BT as subsea cable consultant

British telco giant to run project to improve communications between GCC states.

Gulf Bridge International (GBI), the privately owned submarine cable operator, has appointed British telco giant BT as the principal consultant on its $445 million+ cable system project linking the six Gulf states to one another as well as internationally.

As part of its remit, BT will provide knowledge and skills to GBI as it delivers a high-capacity fiber optic undersea telecommunications cable system aimed at improving connectivity for Gulf states both regionally and internationally.

The new agreement will see BT ensuring the new GBI subsea cable project has the correct level of quality control for information transfer around the region and beyond, as well as providing operational risk management, optimising project performance and identifying skilled staff needed to manage the new undersea infrastructure.

"An undertaking of this size and scope requires a partner with a demonstrable track record in delivering undersea cables, as well as a significant presence in and broad understanding of, both Middle East and international communications landscapes.

''BT has all of these characteristics and will help ensure that GBI’s new subsea cable is of a world-class standard while helping to keep the project to its intended time and budget targets,'' said Ahmed Mekky, CEO of Gulf Bridge International.

Set to be operational by 2011, GBI's regional and international submarine cable infrastructure will enable the transmission of real-time transactions by the Middle East’s telecom operators, banks, insurance companies, media, educational institutions, airline and other key industries.

BT will oversee the construction and deployment of the "Gulf ring" element to connect the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as well as links to India and Italy to provide international connectivity.