Gulf Bridge International (GBI), the Middle East’s first privately owned submarine cable operator, is pleased to announce that STC, the leading telecommunications operator in the Middle East Region, will provide the landing station for GBI’s cable in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Mr. Hamad Al Mannai, GBI’s Executive Vice Chairman said “Landing GBI's cable in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with the Kingdom's strategic role in the telecom sector regionally, adds a lot of momentum to GBI's progressing plan to reach the countries of the region. We are particularly proud to team up with the leading experienced operator -Saudi Telecom Corporation (STC)- to connect with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in order to address  its ever-increasing demand for international connectivity to Europe and India as well as within the Region”.

STC’s VP of Wholesale Business Unit, Eng. Saad Ahmed Demyati commented “The new landing station on in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia East Coast represents an important complement to STC’s two existing landing stations on the West Coast. Access to international capacity from the East Coast would enable additional diversity for STC’s existing and planned submarine and terrestrial facilities, further reinforcing STC’s leadership position in the Region as a provider of innovative, reliable and high-quality telecommunications services”.

“Today’s announcement is a significant milestone that reasserts the commitment of the GBI management team to deliver its promise of connecting the world to the Gulf countries. Landing the GBI cable in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with STC's well established base will give GBI access to this lucrative market.” said Mr. Ahmed Mekky GBI’s CEO. “I am delighted that we have STC as GBI’s Landing Party in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Together, we will ensure that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will have unfettered access to increased regional and international connectivity.”

GBI’s cable system will provide telecom operators and other telecommunications companies, both in the region and globally, with greater choice, value, diversity and resilience. The GBI Cable System, which will utilize the latest subsea fiber cable technology, will connect all the countries of the Gulf region to each other and provide onward connectivity to the world via Italy in Europe and India in Asia.

The GBI cable system, with a design capacity of up to 5 terabit per second and designed to operate for 25 years, is scheduled to launch in 2011 and will connect all the Gulf countries via a self healing highly resilient core ring.