Hatif Libya, U.S. Infinera sign deal to upgrade Libya’s fibre optic network
Hatif Libya, part of state-run Libyan Telecommunication Holding Company LPTIC, has signed this week an agreement with California-based Infinera to expand and develop Libya’s optical transport network.
The multi-million USD project is set to provide access to internet and mobile services in areas not reached previously by the network and improve the quality and reliability of services for all customers in Libya.
The need for securing digital transport capacities has increased with the rapid development of the telecommunications sector in Libya and the growing demand for mobile phone services, internet, and digital transformation.
The project leverages universal switching and transport capabilities, enabling Libya’s national network to dynamically switch traffic over diverse paths to ensure the continuation of services in the case of interruptions caused by physical damage to cables or power outages. To do this, Infinera will be deploying Automatically Switched Optical Network (ASON) technology.
This partnership accelerates opportunities for joint economic cooperation between Libya and the U.S. in the field of communications and information technology (ICT). This first step presents a new frontier for investment and collaboration, expanding beyond the traditional energy and security sectors, Infinera said in a statement.
The project will also provide Libya with the ability to benefit from its strategic location in linking Europe and Africa
Once completed, the network will deliver capacities and cyber protection for 60 sites throughout the Libyan territory. This will by using advanced optical equipment and technologies to reach operational capacity of 600 GB on the coastal strip and 200 GB in the southern region, which can be expanded and developed to reach 9 terabytes, Infinera statement read.
The agreement was signed on June 26 by Mohamed Belras Ali, Chairman of of Hatif Libya; and David Heard, Infinera CEO.
The signing ceremony was attended by Abdelhamid AlDabaiba, Head of the National Unity Government; Faisel Gergab, LPTIC Chairman; and the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland.
Prime Minister AlDabaiba said at the signing: “We view this exciting new partnership between Hatif Libya and Infinera as a major stepping stone towards strong Libyan-American economic relations.
“It highlights the welcome return of American companies to Libya to assist in the completion of stalled projects. Deals like this are the cornerstone of a diversified, robust economy of the future.”
Faisel Gergab, Chairman of the Libyan Telecommunication Holding Company (LPTIC), also said: “The partnership with Infinera boosts LPTIC’s commitment to providing improved connectivity services and is an important milestone in our strategic goal of digital transformation.
“This contract will strengthen the telecommunications sector in all regions of the country and will help boost our economy. We see this early cooperation as a signal of what’s ahead for the telecommunications sector, and we fully intend to pursue more partnerships with the U.S.
Gergab added: “It’s very important to us that this project contributes to stability and democracy in Libya, and we are supporting the High Electoral Commission ahead of December 24 elections by facilitating voter registration and auditing polling operations, to help pave the way to a peaceful, democratic transfer of power.”
Mohamed Belras Ali, Chairman of Hatif Libya said: “My colleagues and I at Hatif Libya, which is the backbone of the telecommunications sector, are pleased that our national network is equipped with the latest technologies and provides alternative paths for traffic.
“The network is secured from external intrusions and with capacities that will meet the increasing demand for services. We are pleased with our partnership with Infinera and aspire to provide best services to all our valued customers.”
David Heard, CEO of Infinera, said: “We are pleased to announce this strategic partnership with Hatif Libya, which represents a key foundation of the Libyan telecom sector. Working together, we can build a telecommunications infrastructure that will meet current and future needs.
“We are looking forward to establishing a successful long-term relationship based on our technology innovations, industry expertise, and committed partnership. We are thrilled to be entering Libya and to be working closely with our Libyan partners to deliver a best-in-class solution.”
U.S. Ambassador and Special Envoy to Libya, Richard Norland, gave a speech during the signing ceremony, as he said: “The United States will remain a major supporter of Libya in all fields and seeks to be a strong economic partner.
“We see that Libya is open for business, including American business, and that gives us a lot of joy. We will stand by the Libyan people as they work toward the democratic, prosperous, stable future that they so deserve.”
Hatif Libya was established in 2008 with the purpose of operating and maintaining sovereign the national network to reach 214 villages and cities that spans 1200 km and provide its services to all of Libya. The company is seeking to implement more projects to boost the connection of land and sea cables locally and regionally, which gives a strategic dimension to Libya.