News Telcos Vertical Markets

Telecom Egypt and Zain Omantel International forge new digital corridor

This move offers an opportunity for subsea cable owners by helping them reduce their construction costs as well as elevate latency, resilience, and market response times.

Telecom Egypt, recognised as Egypt’s premier integrated telecom operator and a major player in subsea cable operations, has joined forces with Zain Omantel International (ZOI). Together, they aim to establish a cutting-edge digital corridor that will seamlessly connect the Mediterranean Sea to the Arabian Sea and Arabian Gulf, thereby forming an Eurasian data highway.

The envisioned infrastructure will span from Oman’s Arabian Sea and Gulf shores to Egypt’s Mediterranean coastline, incorporating a high fiber count and utilising a blend of terrestrial and subsea segments. The terrestrial segments, spanning Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, are designed to offer reliability and protection. Simultaneously, the subsea section, directly linking Saudi Arabia and Egypt through the Red Sea, will feature a high-capacity, repeaterless cable system.

This planned route is expected to provide Telecom Egypt and ZOI’s partners and customers with resiliency and reliability for their end-to-end solutions. Additionally, the infrastructure will be extended to Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, and Jordan through ZOI’s network and collaboration with licensed cable landing parties in each country.

Notably, this collaboration presents an opportunity for subsea cable owners. By connecting to this open-access system, they can significantly reduce construction costs and greatly enhance latency, resilience, and market response times. Telecom Egypt is set to develop new infrastructure across Egypt from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, extending onwards to Europe. This will be complemented by ZOI’s robust infrastructure across the Middle East, resulting in the creation of a new network route with the shortest and enhanced latency profile. This development promises improved connectivity options for hyperscalers, subsea cable providers, carriers, and telecom operators, facilitating seamless communication from the Indian Ocean to Europe.

Commenting on this strategic initiative, Mohamed Nasr, Managing Director and CEO at Telecom Egypt, said: “We are excited to collaborate with ZOI on this strategic project; it’s a game-changer in the Eurasia route connectivity landscape. As we look for innovative ways to better serve our customers, we will consistently strive to provide a seamless international connectivity network and increase our diversity layers, without compromising quality, cost, or speed. We will do this by leveraging both Telecom Egypt’s established history in the subsea cables arena and its experienced and competent team.”

Sohail Qadir, CEO at ZOI, commented: “We are delighted to partner with Telecom Egypt on such a groundbreaking project. ZOI was created to revolutionise the wholesale telecom scene, and this is an example of what the future holds. We are facilitating the landing of subsea connections through our shareholders such as Omantel and Zain KSA being the licensees in those jurisdictions. This one-of-a-kind infrastructure will be expanded to most of ZOI’s network footprint to maximise the benefit to our group operations across the region. The value that this digital corridor will create is enormous and it will be widely realized in the region and beyond not only from a connectivity point of view, but also on technological, commercial, and social levels.”