GBI lands first subsea cable into Iraq

17 January 2012 |


The first subsea cable to reach Iraq has landed with the Iraqi Telecommunications and Post Company (ITPC) at Al Faw.

GBI’s international subsea connection has been acclaimed as a significant milestone for the country’s telecoms sector. Broadband penetration in Iraq stands at less than 3%, with 860,400 internet users in 2011, according to Internet World Statistics. The new cable should significantly increase broadband penetration across Iraq.

The cable is part of the GBI Cable System, which will connect all the countries in the Gulf. Qatar, the UAE, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia will be linked in a self-healing ring configuration, designed to provide maximum protection from cable cuts. The cable then connects eastward to Mumbai, India and westwards to Sicily, Italy.

The GBI Gulf Cable System has a capacity of 40G, which GBI claims is roughly four times the current standard in the Gulf. In addition, certain portions of the system have been upgraded to 100G.

“GBI’s vision is to facilitate social and economic growth across the region,” said GBI’s chairman, Rashid Al Noaimi. “As a result of this new connectivity, Iraq will once more be on an even footing with their neighbours in the Gulf.”

Al Noaimi praised his team for overcoming the many challenges which had prevented the successful deployment of a subsea connection to Iraq in the past.

Amir Al-Bayati, Deputy of the ITPC, warmly welcomed the cable’s arrival. “This project is especially important to us as it will feed the ever growing hunger for capacity, and will connect the country to the rest of the world through the Gulf gateway.”

The GBI announced that its cable system was completed in December 2011. GBI and TE SubCom, a partner in the project, are working together to achieve a final Ready for Service across the whole network. It is estimates that the cable will operate for up to 25 years.