Subsea cable capacity set to exceed demand, say Middle Eastern players

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

11 March 2015 | Laura Hedges

Radwan Moussali, SVP of Middle East, Central Asia and Africa at Tata Communications told delegates at Capacity Middle East 2015 in Dubai yesterday morning, that there will be an oversupply of capacity on subsea cables in the region by 2021. "If you add up all the cable systems that touch the Gulf, the total design capacity – according to Telegeography and including expected systems in service over the next couple of years – is around 260Tbs," Moussali said. "Telegeography also predicts that by 2021 the demand for capacity will reach 130Tb, meaning that we are effectively on double the capacity compared to expected demand."

The Gulf already boasts Tata’s TGN (Tata Global Network), Global Cloud Xchange (GCX)’s FALCON and the GBICS/ MENA-SCS routes. There are also a number of projects in the pipeline for the next few years, including the SEA-ME-WE 5, AAE-1 and MEETS.

"We have foreseen the coming models and dynamics of the market; it is created by OTT players," said Beshr Chamssi, CCO at MENA-SCS, during the panel session. "We believe that partnerships are the most important things and we are trying to create the kind of partnerships that bring these people to the region." With Google, Facebook and Amazon now present in the Middle East, the region is becoming increasingly popular for these players. But George Nikoloudis, COO at OTEGLOBE, said that the philosophy of 'if you build it they will come’ in terms of network deployment, does not necessarily ring true. "A saturated market is not a good market," Nikoloudis said. "There is no point in building something that you cannot sell."