GBI, Iraq Sign Multimillion Dollar Deal

The Qatar-based Gulf Bridge International (GBI) and the Iraq Telecommunications and Post Company (ITPC), a leading telecom company in the country signed a $445m deal to establish a landing for GBI's advanced submarine telecommunication fiber-optic cable in Iraq, here yesterday. The GBI-ITPC agreement is the first in a series of Landing Party Agreements that the Doha-based Middle East's first privately owned submarine cable operator is expected to sign this year.

"The modernization of Iraq's communications infrastructure is as important to us as the contracts Iraq had recently signed with international companies to develop the oil fields," said Dr Farooq Abdelqader, Iraq Minister of Communication. "The agreement reflects the true brotherhood between Qatar and Iraq.

The project will support development in all sectors in Iraq through the establishment of communications network and contribute to reducing the digital divide. It will also help in forging closer ties with Iraq's economic and information with all Gulf states and the countries of the world," he said prior to signing the Landing Party Agreement for Iraq's first international fiber optic cable connection.

Dr Abdelqader also stressed that Iraq chose the Doha based company due to the latest infrastructural facilities it provided connecting to Europe and Asia. He confirmed that the submarine cable landing agreement will enhance the capabilities of Iraq. Added to this, the contract does not involve any investment in the project from the side of the telecommunications company.

"GBICS provides infrastructure for national telecom systems to support the aspirations of the countries involved for a sustainable development. The extension of the cable to Iraq will provide new services of unprecedented quality and reliability to its people," said Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chairman, and GBI.

Meanwhile, Ahmed Mekky, GBI board member and CEO, told The Peninsula, that Tyco Telecommunications, the main contractor, has by now completed the part of the project in the Mediterranean Sea, from Italy to Alexandria. The stretch between the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf and the final landings in various countries is currently being estimated. Tyco Telecommunications is responsible for the design, manufacturing, permitting, deployment, and testing of GBI's undersea cable network, as well as onward connectivity to Europe and India.

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