Batelco Signs Agreement with GCCIA for Batelco Gulf Network

Bahrain based telecommunication service provider Batelco (Bahrain Telecommunications Company) announces the launch of the Batelco Gulf Network known shortly as BGN through which will offer connectivity to all GCC (Gulf Cooperation Countries) members. BGN in launched in cooperation with the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA). The partnership agreement was sealed and signed by Batelco CEO Eng. Muna Al Hashemi and GCCIA CEO Ahmed Ali Al-Ebrahim in the presence of officials from both organizations.

· GCC members such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE are beneficiaries of the network that will provide high bandwidth and capacity to customers and international carriers. The terrestrial fiber optic cable, which spans 1,400 kilometers will be managed by Batelco. This gives Batelco full control and manageability of the network. Additionally, the fiber optic cable can be interconnected with other regional submarine cables giving access to onward connectivity to Europe and Asia and major regional landing stations.

BGN is to be built over the state-of-the-art Optical Transport Network (OTN) and aims to provide a reliable alternative to customers and carriers to cater to their wholesale capacities at a reasonable cost. In order to reduce the cable damages by civil construction, the fiber optic cables are elevated on electricity poles. Aerial installation of the cables makes it easily accessible for maintenance while reducing the chances of cable cuts. These benefits give the Batelco Gulf Network a unique advantage over other regional cable systems by introducing a fully protected ring on both submarine and terrestrial routes.

Batelco’s CEO expressed her pleasure in signing the collaboration agreement with GCCIA that will elevate the standard of communications services for Batelco’s customers and the Kingdom of Bahrain. She told the Batelco is investing in the new system and also highly reliable equipment to operate and maintain it, as part of their endeavors in developing world-class networking services to support Bahrain’s efforts and promote the country as a hub for innovative communications services.

Once complete, the BGN will facilitate the introduction of new and innovative services which will greatly boost Bahrain’s and the GCC’s communications capabilities and enhance the development of businesses as well as provide opportunities for new businesses in the Kingdom of Bahrain. GCCIA’s CEO told that the signed agreement comes as part of GCCIA’s strategy to support the economies of the GCC countries. The GCC Fiber Network spans across the GCC countries and provides highly secure and reliable connectivity in the region, which is physically separated from the operations of the GCC power grid.

Established in 1981, Batelco is the principal telecommunications company in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The company is headquartered in Bahrain and is listed on the Bahrain Bourse. It provides services for mobiles through GSM 900 / GSM 1800 / GSM 2100 and LTE 1800 while its residential Internet is an ADSL, Wireless (3G/4G) or FTTH service. Batelco’s major shareholders include the Government of Bahrain entities (Mumtalakat Holding Company, Amber Holding Company, and Social Insurance Organisation), various financial and commercial organizations, and private Bahraini, Gulf Cooperation Council countries (GCC) and international investors.

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