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GBI adds to optical network capacity to deal with World Cup traffic spike

Middle East-based smart and fully managed network provider deploys optical network engine ahead of expected increase in demand on infrastructure

To increase capacity during the football World Cup, Middle East-based global cloud, connectivity and content enabler Gulf Bridge International (GBI) has made further upgrades to its optical networking assets, deploying Infinera’s ICE6 800G optical engine across its submarine and terrestrial networks.

Founded in 2008, GBI operates a smart and fully managed network, and its multi-layer terrestrial and subsea cable meshed network bridges the East to the West through the Middle East.

It offers capacity and a portfolio of wholesale and enterprise services, with the company regarding its value propositions and diverse offerings as serving as a catalyst for growth, innovation and contributing to economic development in the region and beyond.

Just recently, GBI implemented Nokia Photonic Service Engine V (PSE-V) coherent technology to provide capacity upgrades to its existing subsea cables and terrestrial links spanning two seas and three countries, to meet customer demand for additional bandwidth between the Middle East and Europe.

With the ICE6 upgrade, GBI will see network capacity doubled and be able to use connections of up to 800G per wavelength. GBI was able to integrate this technology over its existing third-party optical line system by leveraging open optical networking principles.

The integration of this technology is intended to enable GBI to support key applications such as high-speed streaming of the World Cup and offer 400 GbE services to its customers. Indeed, the ICE6-powered GX Series offering is attributed with being able to deliver the ultra-high capacity needed to meet increasing bandwidth demand and ensure GBI’s customers enjoy a high-quality, uninterrupted experience during the world’s biggest football competition and beyond.

With the optical engine, GBI believes it can minimise the cost per bit of its submarine and terrestrial networks while also maximising spectral efficiency and fibre capacity. This is said to be achieved through unique features that include Nyquist subcarriers, forward error correction gain sharing and photonic integrated circuit-based technology.

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“Upgrading our networks with Infinera’s ICE6 offering was easy and seamless, allowing us to leverage our existing optical transport architecture while upgrading our network to meet today’s demand,” said GBI chief technical officer Gavin Rea.

“It was critical for us to ensure our network had the terabits of capacity needed to give our customers reliable, high-speed service to deliver the best viewing experience [of the World Cup]. That’s exactly what we’ll be offering our customers across Europe and the Middle East this week thanks to Infinera.”

Nick Walden, Infinera senior vice-president of worldwide sales, said: “Modernising GBI’s submarine and terrestrial Smart Network with Infinera’s ICE6 solution is a significant step forward in ensuring GBI remains a leading service provider, offering differentiated services such as 400 GbE to its customers.

“GBI operates key routes throughout the Middle East and European markets, and we are pleased to equip them with the highest capacity and most innovative services available.”

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