The Middle East's newest, biggest cable has now officially gone live. Gulf Bridge International (news) and TE Subcom (news) today pronounced the system 'ready for service', bringing at least 5.18Tbps to the table and dragging the region's bandwidth markets further into the modern world. Local ownership and landing stations in eight Gulf countries give each a direct pipe to both Europe and India. The final piece of the puzzle was put in place with the completion of the landing in Iraq last month.
The hope is that GBI and other major projects in underserved parts of the world don't just help telecommunications companies in the region keep up with traffic growth, but also help with overall economic and social development. In recent years we have seen big bandwidth hook up Southeast Asia, Africa, and of course now the Middle East, and more are on the way.
As for GBI, whose CEO Ahmed Mekky was interviewed on Telecom Ramblings back in October, the next task is to complete the internal shift from construction to operation and sales. But perhaps not all the way, as further extension projects are still under consideration, including to the east from Mumbai on the way to Singapore.