Anticipation grows for AAE-1 cable

03 March 2014 |


The AAE-1 cable, which was announced earlier this year, will be a major topic of discussion at Capacity Middle East 2014.

Worth approximately $600 million, the 15,000km cable will be the first to link all of the major South East Asian nations to Africa and Europe via the Middle East.

The cable is backed by a consortium of 17 carriers, including a number of leading Middle Eastern operators, such as Etisalat, Ooredoo, Mobily and Omantel.

The route will run through south east Asia to Africa and then to Europe via Egypt, connecting Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Oman, the UAE, Djibouti, Qatar, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, then on to Greece, Italy and France.

It is expected to serve as an alternative to the existing heavily congested routes connecting these countries. It is also said to support increasing demand for cloud and CDN, and could significantly enhance connectivity between Asia and Africa.

Etisalat’s EVP of carrier and wholesale services, Ali Amiri, told Capacity that the AAE-1 cable will help the company keep up with the demand for data in the UAE: “This is part of our strategy for growth,” he said. “This certainly helps our aim to become a hub in the region and makes it more credible for us to claim that we are supported by important submarine cables. There has been an unprecedented rise of 80%-90% in data usage across the UAE, which requires us to cater for organic traffic and international traffic from other regions.”

Amiri further highlighted the key importance of the cable landing in Europe, giving Middle Eastern operators access to European markets.

“With three major landings in Italy, Greece and France, this cable provides resilience and redundancy to our existing international cables. It also adds reach and the ability to tap into key international PoPs in different regions.”

AAE-1 is expected to be ready for service by 2016.

The Capacity Middle East 2014 conference opened today in Dubai and continues until March 5.