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Thu 23 Oct 2008 04:00 AM

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New submarine cable network planned for Gulf

Gulf countries are set to be connected via an advanced submarine cable network provided by Gulf Bridge International (GBI), it has been revealed at GITEX Technology Week.

Gulf countries are set to be connected via an advanced submarine cable network provided by Gulf Bridge International (GBI), it has been revealed at GITEX Technology Week.

The privately-owned submarine cable operator, which is backed by a number of enterprises such as Knowledge Ventures and Al Madar Telecom - and receives support from British Telecom (BT) - will work on constructing a submarine cable infrastructure around the Gulf region to be operational in 2011.

"The realisation of a knowledge-based economy and society in the Gulf region is highly dependent on competitive and resilient connectivity, both on the regional and international scale," says Rashid Alnaimi, chairman at Knowledge Ventures.

"We trust that introducing GBI's new services will enhance the level of competition and quality on the submarine traffic market."

News of the project comes as the Gulf region experiences increasing levels of broadband penetration, coupled with strong growth in the production and distribution of local multimedia content.

Major local telecom operators are also looking to expand their slate of media content for broadcast via IP television services. IPTV supports a range of technologies including video-on-demand and HDTV channels.

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