Four international telecommunications companies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop a new international gateway system linking Frankfurt in Germany to Oman via Russia and Iran, the Oman Daily Observer reports. The quartet – Oman’s incumbent fixed line operator Omantel, Telecommunications Infrastructure Company (TIC), UK-based Cable & Wireless Worldwide and Russian carrier Rostelecom – anticipate that work will begin on the cable in May this year, with the system expected to be ready for service in May 2012. The new Europe Persia Express Gateway (EPEG) system will start in Oman and ultimately reach Frankfurt after crossing Iran and Russia. The cable will benefit from Oman’s geographical location and its multiple cable system and Frankfurt’s well established connectivity to the rest of the world. It will contribute to enhancing the required capacities to accommodate the increasing traffic from the MENA region, Central Asia, Russia and Europe, providing an alternative route to the Red Sea Systems.