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Gulf players bolster networks for major sporting events

Middle East map NEW .jpeg

GBI and STC have been busy supporting global sporting events that are taking place in the GCC with infrastructure deployments and network upgrades.

The Formula 1 STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix took place in Jeddah over the weekend, for which STC enabled digital services and full coverage of the event’s site through the provision of high-speed internet circuits – offering a capacity of 29Gbps – and 16 fixed and mobile communication towers with 5G technology.

It is the second year the event has taken place in Saudi Arabia and the second time STC has supported it.

Meanwhile, GBI has been looking ahead to the end of 2022 and the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

In anticipation of the traffic demands this will create, GBI has increased the capacity of its Smart Network by deploying Infinera’s Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE) technology across its submarine and terrestrial networks. This has allowed the global cloud, connectivity, and content enabler to launch such new initiatives as its Capacity Protection Program, while also preparing the network demands anticipated in Q4 as the World Cup kicks off in Qatar.

“Deploying Infinera’s ICE technology across our network provides the terabits of capacity required to meet the demanding bandwidth needs of the region,” said CTO Gavin Rea, who also features in the latest edition ofCapacitymagazine.

“This deployment has enabled GBI to kick off our exciting new Capacity Protection Program to better support our customers and stream international events with reliability and ease. With Infinera’s ICE technology, we are well-positioned to provide a variety of reliable, high-capacity services now and in the future.”

While the upgrade is primarily about meeting traffic demands, the Capacity Protection Programme is also essential to ensure that customers aren’t disadvantaged if there’s a cable cut. GBI said CPP "seeks to provide customers with increased protection and optimise both the restoration and repair processes, as well as take a proactive approach to fault prediction and detection".

Launched earlier this year, GBI said its scheme will provide billions of international viewers with a seamless viewing experience of the world’s largest football competition.

“GBI operates significant subsea and terrestrial networks in the Middle East and globally, providing customers with industry-leading network services,” added Nick Walden, SVP of worldwide sales at Infinera. “By deploying Infinera’s high-capacity coherent optical transmission solutions on their Smart Network, GBI is able to increase network capacity and deliver new services to their customers. We are delighted to support GBI and their customers throughout the Middle East and globally.”

The official Middle East and Africa telecommunications operator for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – and FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021 – is Ooredoo Qatar. Speaking toCapacitylast year, chief technology and infrastructure officer, Günther Ottendorfer said: “We have solutions for quick coverage for limited geographical areas. We have the small cells and repeater solutions. We try to have a broad toolbox.”

Both GBI and STC are participating in Capacity Middle East, which takes place this week in Dubai.

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