Oman’s incumbent telecoms operator Oman Telecommunications (Omantel) has announced the partial activation of the Europe-India Gateway (EIG) submarine cable, with the full system expected to be operational by the end of this year, the Oman Daily Observer reports. The cable, which is valued at USD700 million and extends from the UK to India via Oman, is expected to help enhance the capacity and diversity between Oman and the Middle East to Europe and Asia. Along with 15 other international operators, Omantel has invested around USD55 million in the EIG project, enhancing international capacity, offering redundancy and reducing the chances of submarine cuts disrupting services. ‘This is another great addition to our network of submarine cables,’ commented Abdul Rahim Mohammed al Bahlani, general manager of Business Relations at Omantel’s wholesale business unit, adding: ‘The cable will enable us to provide better bandwidth and connectivity to the growing number of our customers from around the globe… The EIG system is adding to the diversity of Oman’s international capacity which will be improved when the full system is accepted before the end of this year.’ The EIG consortium members have activated more than 11,300km of the total 15,000km system, and eleven of the 13 cable landing sites. When fully activated with the Egypt link, EIG will have a design capacity of 3.84Tbps and will be the first direct high-bandwidth optical fibre system from the UK to India.