A $25 million project to supply Maldives of ICT infrastructure

maldivesChina’s Huawei Marine has signed a partnership with Ooredoo Maldives to deploy a 1,200 km submarine telecommunications cable that will support the Maldive’s national broadband policy.

According to Ooredoo Maldives, the $25 million project will give the Maldives the most advanced ICT infrastructure in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region.

The Maldives are located in the Indian Ocean and one of the most geographically dispersed countries consisting of a chain of twenty six atolls, made up of over 1,200 islands. Of these, just under 200 are populated. The capital and largest city is Malé.

The nationwide submarine cable will connect the various islands allowing Ooredoo – the main operator in the Maldives – to provide an enhanced network that can fully address the country’s increasing communication needs across developing islands and new resort locations. The Maldives main income is from tourism, followed by fishing.

The submarine cable will utilise Huawei Marine’s 100G technology, stretch across 1,200 km. Ooredoo’s and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

Ooredoo said that the project, dubbed the National Submarine Cable Project, will further strengthen its role in “developing the Maldives’ telecommunication infrastructure, and connecting the nation to a digital future”. The company said that it is “taking the lead” in introducing 2G EDGE, 3G & 4G LTE networks to the Maldives. As Ooredoo ventures into new areas such as fixed line internet and mobile money, the submarine cable will allow the company to address growing traffic volume arising from the surge in use of mobile broadband and fibre access to home and business.

Speaking at a ceremony to launch Ooredoo’s National Submarine Cable Project in the Maldives, Minister of Home Affairs, Umar Naseer said: “The government has a strong vision of making Maldives one of the most digitally advanced countries in the region. Ooredoo’s National Submarine Cable will greatly contribute towards the delivery of this vision.”

The Maldives’ President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom ratified the “Maldives Telecommunication Bill” at the 21st sitting of the Parliament on November 25, 2015. The Maldives Telecommunication Act consists of policies to be used to design and implement all telecommunications related work in the Maldives. The Act also encompasses matters related to issuing telecommunications licenses to service providers, according to the President’s office. It is understood that the details of the bill have been published in the Government Gazette, but have yet to be translated into English.

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