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Yet another cable damage, this time between UAE and Qatar

asmaalizain@khaleejtimes.com Filed on February 4, 2008

DUBAI — An undersea telecom cable linking Qatar to the UAE was reported damaged on Friday, causing minor disruptions to the Etisalat network, officials said yesterday.

However, the second telecom operator in the UAE, du said its network was not affected by this fresh cable damage.

Confirming international media reports, an Etisalat official yesterday told Khaleej Times that the cable network was not completely severed, though the damage slowed down the already affected system. He did not give any further details regarding the cause of damage.

The cable was damaged between the Qatari island of Haloul and the UAE island of Das on Friday, Qtel’s head of communications Adel Al Mutawa said. This is the third incident of its kind in the area since January 30 since the cables were first damaged in the Mediterranean and then off the coast of Dubai, causing widespread disruption to Internet and international telephone services in Egypt, Gulf Arab states and south Asia.

Etisalat also said yesterday that the snapped undersea cable Sea-ME-We4 was expected to be fixed by February 8. Giving feedback from FLAG, Etisalat said that the problem may be resolved in two weeks starting from the day of the disruption.

“Our comprehensive bandwidth and infrastructure has also rendered assistance to du when the company suffered further disruption in terms of international calls due to the damage to the Flag Falcon cable within the Arabian Gulf,” said Etisalat officials.

In an update given yesterday, du’s CEO Osman Sultan said, “du has managed to restore its Internet and international voice calling services; the cuts in the submarine cables are still in the process of being repaired by their respective operators. The repair work is likely to take around two weeks, according to the submarine cable operators.”

“In order to minimise the impact to our customers, du has re-routed traffic with immediate effect through other operators, including Etisalat, and has been able to restore Internet and calling services,” he said. — With input from agencies
author

Asma Ali Zain

Associated with KT for 15 years. Covers health issues, Pakistan community, human interest stories as well as general topics for daily news or features.





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