Q&A: Omar Altaji, CCO, Hibernia Networks

01 March 2016 |

The Middle East to North America route is expected to see an annual growth of 39% in bandwidth demand. Omar Altaji, CCO at Hibernia Networks details why Hibernia Network is well-placed to serve that demand.

What have been the highlights and key developments for Hibernia Networks in the region in the past year?

We are pleased to be bringing our low latency connectivity services to the Middle East via

 our new point-of-presence (PoP) in Dubai, which we are announcing at Capacity Middle East. This is an exciting initial entry into the Middle East market for Hibernia Networks, building on the successful launch of the new Hibernia Express transatlantic cable last September and representing a logical extension to our global expansion strategy. Customers seeking lower latency Ethernet connections from major financial and commercial centers in the America’s and Europe into the Middle East can now turn to Hibernia Networks for their connectivity solutions. 

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What are the challenges of operating in the Middle East and how are you looking to tackle those challenges?

Over the last year, we diligently evaluated the relevant regulatory requirements,

 infrastructure considerations, and partnership opportunities in support of our market entry into the Middle East. We have been encouraged by the excitement from our customers across all verticals, as well as from partners and other stakeholder groups, given the service capabilities we are bringing into the region.

What are your strategic priorities as well as expansion plans for the region in 2016? 

As a major financial trading center and media content hub, we view Dubai as a strategic entry point for expansion into the Middle East. Dubai offers broad market access, robust infrastructure, a favourable business environment and a well-established and active capital market. 

What major trends do you see occurring in the Middle Eastern market this year and how does Hibernia Networks plan to capitalise on those?

The ultimate driver behind our expansion is customer demand. TeleGeography projects annual growth of 39 percent in bandwidth demand on the Middle East to North America route. We are well-positioned to serve this growing demand with the high speed network infrastructure we have in place between the two regions with Hibernia Express at its core, which is the highest capacity, lowest latency cable system across the Atlantic.   

We foresee considerable opportunity for growth in this region. In particular, we view the sector-specific Free Zones in Dubai as key catalysts for accelerated growth, which our suite of connectivity and media services is geared to stimulate. Our secure, low latency services are a compelling fit for financial firms and trading exchanges connecting to the DIFC from other major financial centers around the world. 

Hibernia Networks also serves many of the world’s largest broadcasters and content providers, enabling broadcast quality feeds of sporting and other live events from around the globe. Dubai has become a major media and content hub driven by the DMC. We are excited to now offer connectivity for media-rich content with our robust suite of media and video transport services. 

Internet traffic is also growing in the region. The DIC is a key platform for that growth. Today we serve most of the largest webcentric companies around the globe. Our comprehensive suite of high capacity optical transport services enables advanced connectivity between large data centers and hub locations for cloud applications. We anticipate considerable demand growth for this type of connectivity in the region.   

What does Hibernia Networks hope to achieve by attending Capacity Middle East 2016?

We are excited about the opportunity to showcase our brand at Capacity Middle East as a sponsor at this year’s event. We are especially proud of being the recipient of two Global Carrier Awards for Best Subsea Innovation and Subsea Project of the Year from Capacity Media. Furthermore, we value the opportunity to interact with customers and partners that the conference affords, excited about deepening our commercial relationships and business partnerships in this region of the world.