GBI goes straight to 100G as launch nears

25 August 2011 | Guy Matthews


Middle East cable operator Gulf Bridge International (GBI) has claimed that it will be the first subsea network to go live with 100G performance when it launches later this year.

GBI has invested $500 million in network infrastructure to achieve these cutting edge speeds, and to meet wholesale capacity demands in the region into the future.

It claimed that the network, which will connect directly into every country around the Persian Gulf, is based on state-of-the-art DWDM technology, and features capacity that has now been increased to close to 10Tbps on certain sections of the cable.

“100G has been something that has been discussed in the industry for a long time and GBI is proud to be the operator to usher in this new era of undersea cable connectivity,” said Ahmed Mekky, founder and CEO of GBI. “As capacity demands continue to grow aggressively, GBI made the decision to use the latest in technology and ensure that we are prepared to meet the demands of our customers in the long term. The emerging markets we serve have only begun to see the benefits of increased connectivity and we will see exciting growth in these markets challenging operators to keep up. GBI has built its business to meet these capacity challenges."

In May of this year, GBI struck a deal with network operator Interoute to extend its reach into Europe. One half of the contract is called the Italian Terrestrial Network Agreement whereby Interoute will provide GBI with a route from the Gulf operator’s landing station in Mazara in Sicily to Interoute’s Milan POP. The second part of the deal, called the European Network Agreement centres around GBI and Interoute integrating their networks, giving GBI access to the commercial hubs of Milan, London, Paris, Marseilles, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.

“The global demand for internet increases year on year, and there is a real need for strong, resilient internet connections between Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” said Gareth Williams, CEO of Interoute, at the time of the deal.