Qatar Hooks Up to FLAG's Falcon

Qtel provides landing station for the Falcon cable in Qater and purchases resilient capacity on the system

April 20, 2005

2 Min Read

DOHA, Qatar and LONDON -- Qtel, Qatar's national telecoms operator, today confirmed a multi-million dollar investment in the country's communications infrastructure with the official signing of historic agreements that provides a full landing station for FLAG Telecom's FALCON cable system in Doha and purchase of capacity on the new regional terabit/s cable system.

Today's signing follows similar agreements with Oman, Egypt, Bahrain, India and Kuwait. Once in service, FALCON will enable Qatar and Qtel to provide high-quality, direct international connectivity from Doha to the global business centres around the world, supporting the roll-out of advanced broadband services throughout the country.

FALCON, a new high-capacity resilient loop cable system will provide multiple landings throughout the Gulf region, with submarine links stretching from the Middle East to Egypt in the west and, initially, to India in the east. Across India the FALCON system can interconnect seamlessly with India's domestic networks, including Reliance's 80,000 km high-speed domestic infrastructure, allowing customers to access major cities and towns.

The capacity purchase will provide a many-fold increase in resilient international circuits into and out of Qatar and - for the first time - offer loop protection within the Gulf region. These circuits are expected to allow Qtel to compete favourably with other regional operators as they seek to establish pan-Regional activities and investment in overseas markets.

Dr Nasser Marafih, CEO, Qtel, said: "This significant investment represents a tremendous strategic step by Qtel and will greatly help us meet our stated aim of providing Qatar with the necessary infrastructure to meet the growing demands of our customers for fast Internet access and value-added IP services. Our aim is to deliver cost-effective broadband services to every home and business throughout the country and FALCON will additionally provide us with direct, resilient, high-quality capacity between Qatar and the rest of the world.

FLAG Telecom Group Ltd.

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