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Qtel to host landing station for GBI cable

Qtel becomes latest Gulf operator to join GBI cable system

Qtel to host landing station for GBI cable
(L-R) Ahmed Mekky, CEO of GBI, with Hamad Al-Mannai, executive vice chairman GBI, and Dr. Nasser Marafih, CEO, Qtel at the signing ceremony.

Qatari incumbent Qtel has signed a deal with Gulf Bridge International (GBI), the Middle East's first privately owned submarine cable operator, to provide a landing station in the country.

The agreement will allow Qtel to connect its network to GBI's cable system, which will link all of the Gulf countries to each other and  provide onward connectivity to Europe and Asia.

The development, which comes just weeks after Qtel's internet services were disrupted by a fault on the Sea-Me-We 4 undersea cable, will strengthen the operator's international connectivity, according to CEO Dr. Nasser Marafih.

Marafih said the landing party agreement with GBI would give "an additional level of resilience" to the existing infrastructure to maintain seamless communication between Qatar and the rest of the world. He added that the additionally capacity would also help Qtel's aim of making Qatar "one of the best connected countries in the world." 

GBI has already signed landing party agreements with Batelco in Bahrain, STC in Saudi Arabia, Du in the UAE, Vodafone Qatar, and Iraq Telecommunications and Post Company (ITPC) this year.

The GBI Cable System, which is scheduled to launch in 2011, will connect all the Gulf countries via a core ring and provide onward connectivity to Europe and Asia.

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