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New digital corridor linking the Med to the Arabian Sea promises to open up MENA to rich content and telecoms services


MENA telco Telecom Egypt has joined forces with Oman’s Zain Omantel, have joined forces to create a new digital corridor connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Arabian Sea and Arabian Gulf, creating an unprecedented Eurasian data highway.

The innovative infrastructure will extend from Oman’s Arabian Sea and Gulf shores to Egypt’s Mediterranean coastline, employing a high fibre count, cutting-edge blend of terrestrial and subsea segments. The terrestrial segments, spanning Oman, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, promise unparalleled reliability and protection.

On the other hand, the subsea section, directly linking Saudi Arabia and Egypt through the Red Sea, will feature a high-capacity, repeaterless cable system.

The route design will provide Telecom Egypt and ZOI’s partners and customers with the best resiliency and reliability for their end-to-end solution. Furthermore, the infrastructure will be extended to Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq and Jordan through ZOI’s network and collaboration with the licensed cable landing parties in each country.

This collaboration also offers a revolutionary opportunity for subsea cable owners. By connecting to this open access system, they can significantly reduce their construction costs and greatly enhance latency, resilience, and market response times. Telecom Egypt will develop new infrastructure across Egypt from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean and onwards to Europe, complemented by ZOI’s robust infrastructure across the Middle East.

 This new network route will have the shortest, enhanced latency profile, giving hyperscalers, subsea cable providers, carriers and telecom operators improved connectivity options from the Indian Ocean to Europe.

Mohamed Nasr, Managing Director and CEO at Telecom Egypt, comments: “We are excited to collaborate with ZOI on this strategic project; it’s a game-changer in the Eurasia route connectivity landscape. As we look for innovative ways to better serve our customers, we will consistently strive to provide a seamless international connectivity network and increase our diversity layers, without compromising quality, cost or speed. We will do this by leveraging on both Telecom Egypt’s established history in the subsea cables arena and its experienced and competent team.”

Sohail Qadir, CEO at ZOI, adds: “We are delighted to partner with Telecom Egypt on such a groundbreaking project. ZOI was created to revolutionize the wholesale telecom scene and this is an example of what the future holds. We are facilitating the landing of subsea connections through our shareholders such as Omantel and Zain KSA being the licensees in those jurisdictions. This one-of-a-kind infrastructure will be expanded to most of ZOI’s network footprint to maximize the benefit to our group operations across the region. The value that this digital corridor will create is enormous and it will be widely realized in the region and beyond not only from a connectivity point of view, but also on technological, commercial and social levels.”

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