du, is strengthening the UAE's bilateral relations with Pakistan, as well as the country's presence as a connectivity hub, with the announcement of its role in enabling a new ‘Orient Express' submarine fiber optic cable between Pakistan and the UAE.
As the partnering telecom operator for the landmark project alongside wi-tribe Pakistan LDI (Private) Ltd, a group company of HB International Investments Ltd, EITC will be the UAE landing party for the cable and will provide landing station infrastructure for connectivity of the fiber optic cable system's UAE presence.
The establishment of this breakthrough agreement builds on the ‘One belt, One Road' initiative - China's expansive multibillion dollar investment for development of global trade routes - to open up a gateway for onward terrestrial connectivity eastwards through Pakistan to China and westwards to Europe. The cable will also complement EITC's expanding datamena and UAE-IX ecosystems and provide connectivity to other cable systems in the region.
‘A pinnacle in UAE-Pakistan relations'
Osman Sultan, CEO of EITC, said: "EITC is a regional leader in providing intelligent network solutions that facilitate digital transformation and accelerate economic growth. The UAE is one of Pakistan's major economic trading partners and, by augmenting the rollout of the Orient Express subsea cable, we are playing a key part in further cementing the excellent ties between our two nations. With this milestone agreement, we are proud to be able to leverage off our extensive expertise to institute this new innovation via our strategic datamena facilities and the regional hub presence of over 150 content and cloud providers, including over 40 service providers in our ecosystem."
Syed Rukhsar Ul Hassan Bokhari , Chairman of wi-tribe Pakistan LDI (Private) Ltd and HB International Investments, said: "As an industry leader in delivering best practices aimed at visions of digital excellence, EITC's support in our aspirations towards becoming a significant global multi-service provider and carrier focused on innovative technologies is warmly welcomed. We are trailblazing new paths towards digital innovation and the construction of the submarine cable system, ‘Orient Express', is testament to our efforts in being a telecom pioneer."
With this agreement, the completed Orient Express cable will offer high bandwidth capacity, internet services and transit facilities with low latency, high quality routes, and peering services to other service providers and enterprise customers.
With the ability to connect to UAE-IX, as the in-bound provider, Orient Express will deliver access to the high-potential content-savvy market with a reliable low latency route to international service and content providers. By peering on the UAE-IX, telco companies can offload customer IP traffic that terminates or originates in networks connected to the UAE-IX.
The 1,300km cable system will link between landing points in Karachi and Gwadar in Pakistan, and Kalba in the UAE. The cable system will carry four fiber pairs and 40Tbps of total design capacity, providing consumers faster access to internet and content worldwide.
The launch of the submarine cable system will help Pakistan's digital penetration, reducing the country's digital divide, and improving education and general awareness. It will also link the developing port city of Gwader to the UAE and open up a new data highway to China through Pakistan.
Additionally, this will provide Telecom operators in Pakistan with access to the competitive IP Transit market. Many of the worlds' Tier1 IP Transit providers are present inside datamena and offer IP Transit services directly to other datamena customers. With direct access to service providers, datamena hosts a number of different service providers across the ICT industry, from carriers, to content and cloud players.