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BIX and Cisco to collaborate on NGN and other projects

Bahrain Internet Exchange and Cisco to work together on programs to improve internet cost and connectivity for Bahrain

HE Shaikh Ahmed bin Ateyatallah Al Khalifa, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Minister Responsible for Telecommunications, and Duncan Mitchell, senior VP, Cisco Emerging Markets East announce the collaboration.
HE Shaikh Ahmed bin Ateyatallah Al Khalifa, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Minister Responsible for Telecommunications, and Duncan Mitchell, senior VP, Cisco Emerging Markets East announce the collaboration.

Cisco has announced plans to work with the Bahrain Internet Exchange (BIX) to look at developing new infrastructure to reduce international connectivity costs, and improve internet speed and costs within the Kingdom.

BIX, a not-for-profit internet exchange, serving ISPs and the government sector in Bahrain, will look at a number of possible projects with Cisco, with the aim of improving the overall cost and performance of internet within the country to support applications such as video, mobile, and cloud and managed services, and to increase penetration of broadband.

The two intend to collaborate on an IP-based Next Generation Network (NGN) & IP Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) core network, although no timescale or scope was given for any possible NGN project.

BIX plans to use Cisco's Protocol over Dense Wavelength-Division Multiplexing technology (IPoDWDM) to utilize and improve capacity on the Bahraini Electricity and Water Authority's existing ‘dark fibre' optical network, which can be used as an additional source of bandwidth and connectivity for the country. BIX is also building the landing station to connect the Kingdom to Tata Communication's TGN Gulf undersea cable.

His Excellency Shaikh Ahmed bin Ateyatallah Al Khalifa, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Minister Responsible for Telecommunications sector, the kingdom of Bahrain commented: "A state of the art next generation network platform, which will help deliver faster, reliable and cost-effective Internet connectivity, is the key to the next phase of development for the Kingdom of Bahrain as it will enable us attract foreign and local investment that will help build the Kingdom into a commercial hub for the Gulf region. This is vital for the country transformation plan which is already well under way. Joining forces with Cisco positions us extremely well in helping to achieve our goal for reducing the cost and increasing internet usage in the Kingdom of Bahrain."

Cisco's consultancy group, the Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), will also act in an advisory capacity to BIX around new technologies, best practices and deployments.

Duncan Mitchell, senior vice president, Cisco Emerging Markets East, and executive sponsor, Cisco Networkers 2010, Bahrain said: "I would like to recognise Bahrain for its progressive ICT regulatory environment; technology thrives within the Kingdom and the Government clearly understands the fundamental role ICT plays in continually improving productivity and competitiveness, leading to sustainable economic success and increasing standards of living. The collaboration between BIX and Cisco, utilising a Next Generation Network Platform, will allow Bahrain to continue to evolve the business friendly environment that has been created, further encouraging international organisations to locate their Gulf based operations within the Kingdom."