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Zain Bahrain joins international cable system

Leading Bahrain telecom services operator Zain Bahrain has announced the introduction of the ‘Middle East-Europe Terrestrial System’ (Meets), an international cable system that provides state-of-the-art high-bandwidth regional connectivity solutions.

In a major regional telecommunications development, a GCC-wide telecoms consortium has been formed to build a high-bandwidth regional transmission cable system for the region. The system, to be called the Middle East-Europe Terrestrial System (MEETS) – was both conceived and co-promoted by Zain, du, Vodafone and Zajil.

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MEETS was announced at a press conference held today in Dubai on the sidelines of the Telecoms World Middle East event. Attendees included Henri Kassab, Group Director of International Wholesale and Roaming, Zain Group and Head of Mada Bahrain;  Osman Sultan, CEO, du; Niraj Singh, Business Services Director, Vodafone Qatar; Khalifa Al-Soulah, MD & CEO, Zajil Telecom; and, Mahesh Jaishankar, Vice President, Datamena.

Zain will be the landing party in Saudi Arabia, du in the UAE while Vodafone Qatar Q.S.C. will be in Qatar, and Zajil in Bahrain and Kuwait. A state-of-the-art 100G optical transport network (OTN) will be built on top of a 1,400km terrestrial fibre optic cable to sustain the growing bandwidth demand of the region. MEETS will cater to regional and international ICT companies, meeting their wholesale capacity needs, while providing a connection to new areas and end customers.

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MEETS is designed to be an economically and technically competitive alternative for connectivity within the Gulf; it will also enable a terrestrial route to Europe for reduced latency and higher reliability. Carriers will be able to access MEETS from the Fujairah Landing Station or at the carrier-neutral hub datamena.

By joining Meets, Zain Bahrain will offer superior products to meet the increasing demand for high-speed and reliable connectivity throughout the kingdom, particularly in the booming business sector, it added.
Zain Bahrain General Manager Mohammed Zainalabedin said the introduction of Meets supports the kingdom’s vision towards positioning Bahrain as a major hub for ICT and data movement in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.
“It also supports Zain Bahrain’s strategic plans to develop a world-class infrastructure locally and globally to cater for the growing demand of high-speed and low-latency connectivity solutions for our Enterprise customers in Bahrain,” he noted. 
Meets is built on an Optical Ground Wire over a 1,400km regional high-tension electricity network, reducing the risk of cable cuts and enhancing the availability normally associated with submarine cables.
The system is a state-of-the-art, upgradeable optical transport network capable of sustaining the growing bandwidth demand in the region. The system is managed by a 24/7 Network Operating Centre.
Providing a superior internet experience will help Zain Bahrain retain and attract new customers, while complementing our cutting-edge mobile data expansion strategy and supporting the roll-out of dynamic Enterprise services to our corporate clients,” explained Zainalabedin.
“The new system caters to regional and international ICT companies, meeting their wholesale capacity needs, while providing a connection to new areas and end customers, especially enterprises of all sizes,” he added
MEETS will have an initial capacity of 200Gbps and be carried over an Optical Ground Wire associated with a regional high-tension electricity network – reducing the risk of cable cuts. The system will be managed by a 24/7 Network Operating Centre (NOC).
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