Iraq Primed To Be Essential Telecommunications Link Between Europe and Asia

 
on April 17 2012 8:32 AM

Iraq as a country has been embroiled in war and armed violence throughout the majority of the previous two decades but in light of the current climate in its neighboring countries, Iraq looks to be one of if not the most stable nations currently in the region. This relative stability coupled with its strategic geographic location for directly routing telecommunications cables connecting Saudi Arabia and Asia with Europe is making the country a prime contender in the region to shoulder much of the cable routing for the expected boom in internet use in the Gulf in the years to come.

Many companies have reached agreements and projects have been initiated that are bringing wider and higher quality internet capability to Iraq itself and the region. This potential is being capitalized on in Iraq and analysts are positioning the country as a serious up-and-coming telecommunications hub for the entire Middle East. This development has implications across the geopolitical and business landscapes, with clear implications for SEO companies and internet marketers in the balance.

A Telecommunications HubMore than several cable routing projects are currently underway by various companies and partnerships in the region. One major undertaking, the Gulf Bridge Network is a $500 million project in its first installment and will eventually bring high speed web access to Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. This project highlights the demand for increased capacity and internet infrastructure in the region and exemplifies the amount of investment there is by government s and companies alike to deliver a wider used, faster internet.

Two other current projects, one through Syria and the other through Iran, are having their difficulties. The uncertainty in Syria has made for an inhospitable environment for the continuation of that project and recent sanctions coupled with concern over their nuclear plan; the outlook on Iran's cable does not appear bright. As indicated above, such issues have favorably positioned Iraq as the preferable routing destination for cable lines which if acted on fully could provide a big return for the country and allow great economic and telecommunications benefit.

This is a developing situation and one to keep track in the coming years. Less than 3% of Iraqi homes are connected to the internet at present, but with these new installments, the capacity could bump to online access to 50% in the coming two years, according to the Iraqi communications minister, as referenced in a New York Times article.  

Takeaway

  • First, given the opportunity that comes with the internet, this presents a great scenario for Iraq to emerge as a communications hub. This will increase economic resources in the country and provide the internet for more people.
  • Second, as we've seen and will continue to see in other developing markets, when internet adoption grows, the economic potential for businesses to be connected and utilize the internet is tremendous. Businesses will look to get an online presence and will need to partner with SEO Companies offering international SEO services to optimize their web presence.
  • Third, in time companies will look to expand into the Iraqi market and when they do, they need to consider how the languages and culture, as well as political and judicial structures will impact their operations.

For more information on the tech transition for Iraq or any other developing market, please reach out to me directly at rbuddenhagen@webimax.com and @rwillbudd.

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