24 May 2018
| Natalie Bannerman
Sabotage, cyber security and better regulation in the region, were some of the key topics of discussion from the 2018 Subsea Middle East Summit
"Transparency in the region is needed," said Amr Eid, CEO of
Gulf Bridge International (GBI).
Speaking during the subsea Middle East summit on a panel
exploring the subsea terminal hub between Europe and the Far
East, Eid touched on the two key takeaways from the session the
right regulatory environment and transparency overall.
"We need to learn from Europe and have regulatory
support," chimed in Ivan Skenderoski, managing partner of
Salience Consulting and moderator of the discussion.
Cross connect prices – what has happened in Europe
to solve this is to move from a monopolistic to ca competitive
environment. But governments here do need to make it easier to
land different cables here.
When asked which country in the Middle East is best primed
to become the hub for subsea interconnection Eid replied:
"It’s not about specific locations,
it’s about whoever is able to bring that access
environment to the user. The first country or hub that is able
to provide regional access is the one that’s going
Sitting on the same panel as Eid was Mohamed Nasr, AVP,
EMEA, cable development at PCCW Global who was keen to
establish the difference between interconnection points and
hubs, terms that often get confused in conversation and the
ability to the Middle East to have either.
"First I think we need to differentiate between an
interconnection point and a hub. If we’re talking
about a hub like Amsterdam or London, we are terminating at
those hubs we are not using them to cross connect between two
cables," said Nasr. "If you look at the Middle East, you
don’t have a location you can pinpoint as the
Jamil Al Koussa, chairman of BBG & G2A Consortium
was also on the panel, and voiced his opinion on the topic
saying: "I think the Middle East as a whole will become a hub,
because of its location in-between Asia and Europe and close
links to India."
Purumedh Gupta, VP & business head of Bharti
Airtel, very astutely made the link between the growing
adoption of the cloud in the region and the subsea market,
adding: "As the cloud infrastructure grows, subsea is going to
be driven by the cloud environments."
Kicking off the Submarine security solutions panel shortly
afterwards, Ed McCormack, consultant at Ciena started
by describing the biggest threats to subsea cables in the
Middle East. "Geographically the Middle East has many
countries, many cable landings. There is an abundance of
shallow waters, which adds to the vulnerability of cables. In
addition to that you have a highly regulated environment, so
when cables break as they inevitably do it becomes a greater
challenge to fix."
Radwan Moussalli of Tata Communications elaborated on these
challenges, detailing what exactly causes these cable
breakages. "One of the biggest causes of cable damages in this
region is fishing, the other is big vessels carrying anchor
cables and it’s not only related to shallow water
here, it happens in other parts of the world as well."
He then took it away from environmental threats and
mentioned sabotage and cyber security as two of the newer
threats to the industry.