Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Telecom Egypt for the construction of the first subsea cable directly connecting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The MoU was signed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia by Salman Al-Badran, CEO of Mobily, and Adel Hamed, managing director and CEO of Telecom Egypt. The MoU is part of Mobliy’s efforts to enhance its global infrastructure, boost the digital economy and provide digital solutions that align with the goals of the government’s Saudi Vision 2030.
Telecom Egypt has been a key partner for subsea cable projects globally, and has recently entered into an agreement to become a landing partner for Aqua Comms’ EMIC-1 cable project. Through this agreement, both companies will explore new ways to connect international capacity in Europe through Telecom Egypt’s network, to the GCC through Mobily’s network. Both companies’ networks will be expanded and interconnected with neighbouring countries.
Following a 2018 agreement between Cape Verde Telecom and EllaLink in 2018, where the two agreed to deliver connectivity from Europe and Latin America to Cape Verde, the EllaLink International cable has been launched. The partnership has been supported by the European Bank of Investments and the local Government of Cape Verde and now Praia is connected directly and neutrally to Brazil and Europe.
This new cable offers the lowest latency available on the market, as well as a capacity of 30 Tbps, providing Cape Verde with the benefit of secure and optimised connectivity. The EllaLink connection between Latin America and Europe has reduced the latency between the two continents by close to 50%, from +100 milliseconds to circa 60 milliseconds compared to traditional routes.
The EllaLink subsea cable will additionally help strengthen the Cape Verde digital economy having connected Praia to three continents with neutrality and independence. DE-CIX in March confirmed plans to provide EllaLink with access to its interconnection ecosystem in Southern Europe, through their internet exchanges in Lisbon, Madrid and Marseille. The new system also creates opportunities for the country to increase the quality of the internet service offered to the country, and can be extended to all West Africa.
The Batam Sarawak International Cable System (BaSIC) subsea cable has been launched and will strengthen internet connections between Batam, Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi in Indonesia. The 700m system connects Sarawak, Malaysia and Batam, Indonesia, which is then connected via land cable to Pontianak in West Kalimantan.
The project started in 2020 and became operational on 1 June 2022. This cable system is an additional alternative international gateway for Indonesia to Kuching, Sarawak and Hong Kong and supports XL Axiata’s efforts to add new upstream international capacity to Indonesia.
BaSIC will deliver 6 fibre pairs offering an initial capacity 2Tbs, which will be gradually increased until it arrives at a maximum capacity of 48Tbs. The project is part of XL Axiata’s mission to provide infrastructure for better global internet access as well as to support the Indonesian government’s goal to encourage the use of digital technology.
Singapore-based satellite company Kacific has been working with Bis Data Indonesia and Primacom Interbuana and has completed deployment of over 2,500 sites for Bakti, the Indonesian government’s Telecommunication and Information Accessibility Agency.
Bakti director of infrastructure Bambang Noegroho has stated that, “With this satellite connectivity project, we take a significant step forward to our goal of the equal distribution of information and communication technology, to strengthen national unity, fuel economic growth and strengthen national resilience for disasters and emergencies.”
Indonesia’s universal service has been the source of funds for the project with one of its major aims being the provision of public internet access, through satellite services, in areas that have little or no access to affordable internet service including border areas and places that are not considered economically viable by terrestrial service providers.
Kacific’s CEO Christian Patouraux stated, “Bakti’s project aligns with Kacific’s mission to bridge the digital divide by providing access to affordable, high-speed internet in the most remote and under-served areas.” While deploying sites at remote destinations in multiple islands throughout the length of Indonesia was logistically challenging, the Kacific sites allow Bakti to secure guaranteed bandwidth at every single site with each terminal achieving speeds of over 85Mbps.