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In Line with the Kingdom’s Aspirations to Become a Global Center for Digital Network Connectivity

Monday 4 April 2022

Zain Invests in J2M Undersea Cable to Link Jeddah with Marseille

Zain announced the kickoff of the J2M (Jeddah, KSA to Marseille, France) submarine cable system, which will link the Middle East with Africa. Jeddah will become the cable landing station for the Pakistan and East Africa Connecting Europe (PEACE) cable system. Zain is aiming for the system to go live by early 2023. This unique investment will contribute to achieving several strategic objectives of the company. It will also enhance its capabilities and boost the versatility of its international infrastructure by making available to carriers and enterprises a brand-new entry point which will ensure higher efficiency and faster performance in telecommunications to meet their connectivity requirements in the Kingdom.

In line with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030, this investment by Zain will contribute to accelerating the digital transformation in the Kingdom, helping it to grow into a lucrative market for international businesses and high-tech investments. The benefits of the J2M submarine cable system go beyond the Kingdom to serve the region and the world. Zain is a key enabler in developing a robust ICT sector on a global scale supported by next-gen technologies, high-end innovations, and an advanced infrastructure.

Commenting on this development, Eng. Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Deghaither, CEO, Zain KSA, said: “We are committed to ensuring a robust and fault-tolerant international connectivity platform that supports the digital transformation program of Saudi Vision 2030 and benefits the business community as well as the digital-savvy consumer in the Kingdom, whilst advancing the Kingdom’s position globally as a world-class hub for ICT and digital services.”

For his part, Frederick Chui, COO, PCCW Global stated: “Our collaboration with Zain was and still is strategic and transformative for regional markets. As such, we are excited for this investment to unlock greater operational capacity in the Middle East, especially at a time when facilitating more seamless access to data is essential for ensuring a competitive edge. For that, we believe that this is the right time for increasing investments in submarine infrastructure.”

The privately-owned, 15,000-km-long PEACE submarine cable system offers open, flexible, and carrier-neutral services for its customers. It is designed with the latest 200G transmission technology and WSS ROADM BU technology, which provides the capability to transmit over 16Tbps per fiber pair servicing growing regional capacity needs.

The PEACE cable system substantially reduces network latency by adopting the shortest direct route connectivity, providing cost-effective capacity in an economically growing region and enhancing route diversity between Asia, Africa, and Europe.