The link strengthens GBI's existing Europe routing through the subsea network, further reinforcing the network against cable cuts and other common industry hazards.
"GBI's route through Iraq and Turkey represents a major milestone for both regional and international communications,"
said Ahmed Mekky, Board Member and CEO of GBI.
"This more direct route will lead to faster connectivity via lower latency times, and the diversity we offer will reduce the likelihood of a reoccurrence of the three day internet outages of 2008. This investment is in line with our vision to connect the world to the Gulf and strongly underpins the continued ICT development across a region home to one sixth the world's population. In addition, Iraq is now emerging as a modern communications hub, with significant implications for the nation's economy and long-term development."
The new GBI North Route provides connectivity from the cable landing station at Al Faw, in the south of Iraq, crossing Iraq and Turkey to Istanbul, and onward to Frankfurt in Germany. GBI is the only operator to offer seamless connectivity from Europe to all of the Gulf countries via the Mediterranean, Egypt and the Red Sea, or terrestrially via Turkey and Iraq.
The North Route gives operators true route diversity between Europe and the Gulf, This ensures operators can address their customers' requirements for always-on connectivity with confidence, as GBI works closely with operators to meet the significant increase in demand for international capacity.
Activated in February 2012, GBI offers additional much-needed capacity on the first Gulf network ever built in a ring configuration, with routing onwards to Europe, Africa and Asia. As the region's first carrier-neutral operator, this secure capacity is available to any operator or ISP, enabling new operators to more easily break into the market, and existing operators to diversify their routing. GBI was named the Best New/Niche player of 2012 by Capacity, and best Telecom's Technology Investment of 2012 by CommsMEA.