Etisalat partners with PCCW Global for MPLS and Ethernet interconnection

06 March 2013 | Kavit Majithia


PCCW Global has struck a partnership deal with Etisalat to interconnect MPLS and Ethernet services in a bid to maximise large traffic and establish an increased presence in the Middle East.

The agreement, announced first at Capacity Middle East 2013, will enhance a long-standing partnership between the companies.

PCCW will also install a PoP on the Smarthub IX facility to increase capacity cooperation with the Middle Eastern operator, and provide additional services across the Middle East and expand its international reach.

The connection will be made through Smarthub IX, with the launch of the platform also occurring this week.

Throughout Capacity Middle East 2013, Etisalat has announced a range of partnership agreements, particularly on Smarthub IX, with Dutch internet exchange AMS-IX and China Telecom Europe connecting on Etisalat’s platform. The company also partnered with Level 3 for CDN services.

Smarthub, which is designed to operate as a transit hub for the Middle East region, connects to submarine cable network infrastructures, including Regional Cable Network (RCN), The East African Marine System (TEAMS), India-Middle East Western Europe (IMEWE) and SEA-ME-WE 3, SEA-ME-WE 4, the TGN Gulf and others.

There has been substantial investment in submarine cables, connecting the Middle East to Africa and Asia in particular, as demand increases for broadband and data services.

Ali Amiri, executive vice president of carrier and wholesale services at Etisalat, confirmed to Capacity Daily of Etisalat’s commitment to finding additional partners to connect on its Smarthub IX platform, and offer its unique set of solutions.

“We are delighted to be working closely with PCCW Global to help them serve their customers in the region and globally” he said. “As a regional hub for communication services, Etisalat’s Smarthub IX is the fastest growing hub in the area and we will continue to attract a large network and content providers with a broadband portfolio of services and capacity options. We look forward to many more years of cooperation with PCCW Global, a dynamic and innovative global service provider.”

PCCW is expected to work closely with Etisalat, and Marc Halbfinger, chief executive officer at PCCW Global, reiterated his belief that the enhancement of the partnership will further enable the Hong Kong-based provider to deliver high-quality communications services in the Middle East.

“We look forward to this joint expansion with Etisalat,” said Halbfinger. “By creating a new PoP in Smarthub, PCCW Global will be working closely with Etisalat in its commitment to high-quality service. We are confident this connectivity, combined with our recent interconnection agreements for MPLS and Ethernet networks, will further expand our access to one of the most extensive terrestrial and submarine networks in the Middle East and bring about new and exciting opportunities for the further development of our network.”

Etisalat's Ali Amiri and Marc Halbfinger of PCCW Global