GBI taps Nokia to improve optical network capacity between the Middle East and Europe

With the FIFA World Cup in Qatar just weeks away, Gulf Bridge International (GBI), a global cloud, connectivity and content provider based in the Middle East, has upgraded its optical network assets by implementing Nokia Photonic Service Engine V (PSE-V) coherent technology to provide capacity upgrades of its existing undersea cables and land links spanning two seas and three countries, to meet customer demand for additional bandwidth between the Middle East and Europe.

Founded in 2008, GBI operates an intelligent, fully managed network and its mesh network of multi-layer terrestrial and submarine cables connects East and West across the Middle East, and is designed to connect businesses and corporations and contribute to the accelerated digital transformation of the region. It offers wholesale and enterprise service capability and portfolio, with the company viewing its value propositions and diverse offerings as a catalyst for growth, innovation and contributing to economic development in the region and beyond.

With this upgrade, GBI will increase international network capacity ahead of the World Cup to enable high-speed connectivity between Doha, Qatar, and Milan, Italy, and upgrade its Nokia 1830 optical transport platforms Photonic Service Switch (PSS) with new network interface cards powered by PSE-V digital signal processors. This will enable an upgrade of 50 Gbps to 200 Gbps wavelength connections over existing end-to-end submarine cable and GBI’s backhaul links spanning thousands of kilometers and allow the introduction of 400 Gbps services. in the future.

The system is designed to maximize the capacity of two existing submarine cable links by dramatically improving optical spectrum efficiency through advanced techniques such as stepless baud rate adjustment. It also eliminates optical signal regeneration on two long distance backhaul links. Removing the need to convert between optical and electrical signals to amplify the optical signal at intermediate regeneration points increases network efficiency and reduces latency and costs.

“We chose Nokia because its proven PSE technology will enable us to increase the capacity of our submarine cables and terrestrial networks efficiently and cost-effectively,” said Gavin Rea, CTO of GBI. “We will be able to meet our customers’ growing demand for the best connectivity services between the Middle East and Europe while ensuring that we can increase speed and capacity in the future.

“These routes are critical to our international carrier-grade fiber optic smart network, which connects service providers, cloud providers and enterprise customers to major financial and communications centers in the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Asia.”

Manuel Ortiz Fernandez, Senior Vice President of Webscale EMEA Business at Nokia, added: “There is a growing need for wholesale services that provide reliable, higher-speed connectivity between cloud data centers, colocation facilities and interconnection hubs in the Middle East and Europe. We are delighted that GBI has chosen Nokia to upgrade important routes of its Smart Network. GBI customers will benefit from the scale, reliability and efficiency of our optical solution, while GBI will be able to increase network capacity while reducing network operating costs.

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