KUWAIT/HONG KONG: Zain Group, a leading telecom innovator in seven markets across the Middle East and Africa, announced that Zain Global Connect (ZGC), its wholly owned subsidiary in charge of consolidating Group’s initiatives into the Wholesale Carrier domain, is connecting the Middle East with Europe through the J2M (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to Marseille, France) submarine cable system.
The investment marks ZGC’s first subsea cable ownership, in a portion of the state-of-the-art Pakistan and East Africa Connecting Europe (PEACE) cable system, that will offer Zain full operational independence, a genuine critical factor capable to foster digital transformation initiatives in the region, particularly for cloud and IoT services.
Through the investment in J2M, that will be ready for service in early 2023 with Zain Saudi Arabia as the cable landing party, Zain achieves a higher degree of diversity when it comes to its international infrastructure while making available to global carriers and enterprises a brand-new entry point in Saudi Arabia for their connectivity requirements in the Kingdom and beyond.
Eng Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al-Deghaither, CEO of Zain Saudi Arabia, said, “This historic achievement marks another milestone in the journey of Zain KSA. By investing in the J2M submarine cable, Zain reconfirms its commitment to the Kingdom’s digital-savvy consumer and business community by making available a robust, fault-tolerant international connectivity platform that will support the ambitious digital transformation objectives of Saudi Vision 2030, while contributing to position the Kingdom as a global ICT and digital services hub.”
Kamil Hilali, CEO, ZGC, said, “J2M represents a major breakthrough for Zain and ZGC as we look to develop our wholesale capabilities further while ensuring an even better quality of service to all Zain operations offering international connectivity services. We are excited indeed to be a relevant partner of such a successful project and believe its positive economic impact will be greatly appreciated by communities and enterprises across the region.”
ZGC was created by Zain Group as a wholesale division for the purpose of executing the Group’s strategic plan to enter the wholesale data and voice services space. With an eye on the present as well as the future, ZGC proactively looks for and implements state-of-the-art equipment functionalities significantly supporting the growing needs of Zain operating markets and other global carriers for high-quality international connectivity.
Frederick Chui, Chief Commercial Officer, PCCW Global, said, “The collaboration with Zain Global Connect has been strategic and is transformative for the region. The undersea cable is set to contribute to greater capacity availability in the Middle East. In an era when low-latency data access is a key differentiator, we believe this is the right time to be expanding investment in undersea infrastructure.”
The PEACE cable system is a 15,000 km-long, privately owned cable system that provides open, flexible and carrier-neutral services for its customers. It is designed with the latest 200G transmission and WSS ROADM BU technologies, which provide the capability to transmit over 16Tbps per fiber pair servicing growing regional capacity needs. The PEACE cable system substantially reduces network latency by adopting shortest direct route connectivity, providing cost-effective capacity in an economically growing region and enhancing route diversity between Asia, Africa and Europe.