By Qtel

The people of the region will benefit enormously from a new Gulf-wide undersea cable network announced today, which will be supported by Qtel and a host of other major regional operators in strategic partnership with Tata Communications.

Under the terms of the agreement, Qtel will be the designated ‘landing party' in Tata's Global Network (TGN) Gulf Cable System, with other regional operators playing the same role for their respective nations.

This state-of-the-art cable system will connect the Gulf Region directly to the world's major business hubs and city centres through the Global Network, improving connectivity and providing the foundations for next generation communication technology. Completion of this new system will make an important contribution to Qtel's strategy to connect Qatar with the world.

In addition to Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates will be connected to TGN Gulf Cable in the initial Phase. Subsequently, in the second phase other countries in the Gulf will be conjoined.

The total length of the cable system within the Gulf region will stretch some 4,469 kilometres, reaching from Mumbai through to Oman and onto Kuwait. The segment will connect to Tata Communications' global cable and backhaul network, which is one of the largest in the world.

Dr. Nasser Marafih, Chief Executive Officer, Qtel, said: “Qtel is delighted to announce this agreement with Tata Communications, which will bring a new global, and much needed, resilient submarine cable to Qatar. The enhanced capacity provided by this cabling solution will help ensure rapid growth of Broadband services across Qatar.”

Building and installing the global submarine cable will take approximately 22 months. The cable and the relationships enabled by the Gulf Cable System will provide the basis for an extended portfolio of value added services for local and global enterprise customers. When it is completed, the cable will enable at least 1.28 TBit/s of additional international connectivity in the region

Through the TGN-Gulf Cable System, people in Qatar will have access to new, high-speed global routing that will encourage expansion in broadband penetration, Internet usage and enterprise applications, and can look forward to faster and more reliable bandwidth, while the more resilient and diverse cable structure will benefit generations to come.

Vinod Kumar, President and COO of Tata Communications, said: “We are delighted to be in partnership with a progressive and committed company like Qtel. This partnership is designed to create mutual benefit, which will multiply steadily as we use the foundation of the TGN Gulf cable system to develop additional network and IT services that address growing market needs.”

Qtel and Tata Communications have worked together for many years to meet Qatar's ever-growing requirements for international data and voice services. Under the terms of an earlier agreement signed in June of 2009, the two companies are aligning their infrastructures to provide secure, scalable and flexible connectivity solutions including Ethernet, MPLS (Multi Protocol Label Switching) and a wide variety of managed services to their global customers.

“Qtel's ongoing investment in cabling solutions will make a significant contribution to positioning Qatar as a leading regional and international hub for data and managed services, part of the wider strategic move towards expanding the knowledge-based economy,” concluded Dr. Nasser.