The activation of Al-Faw Cable Landing Station as part of a project with Iraqi Telecommunications and Post Company (ITPC) will connect Iraq to countries in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and North America, Reliance Globalcom said in a statement this week.
The company, which owns the world's largest private undersea cable system spanning 65,000 km, said the station with a design capacity of 680 gbps with two diverse routes, would initially use 50 gbps on each route to cater to existing market demand.
The two diverse routes were connected to the Falcon undersea fibre-optic cable network owned by Reliance Globalcom.
The project is the first cable network to land in Iraq, a country of 30 million people, still recovering from the 2003 US invasion that followed years of international sanctions under former dictator Saddam Hussein. Under 3 per cent of the country's population is currently connected to the Internet.
Poor infrastructure, high operating costs, conflicts between communications regulators and security problems have been major roadblocks to international connectivity.
Demand for bandwidth is soaring in the Middle East, driven by the deregulation of regional telecoms markets as well as a desire by governments to diversify from oil and gas into sectors such as finance and media that require fast international connections.
Iraq holds a crucial position in the region as a potential bridge joining the Middle East with Europe and Asia.
The connection in Iraq comes as Reliance Communications plans to publicly list shares of its subsidiary FLAG Telecom on the Singapore stock exchange with the goal of raising around $1 billion to reduce its debt.