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Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC) Purchases Capacity On FLAG Atlantic-1
14 February 2000
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LONDON: FLAG Telecom (Nasdaq: FTHL; LSE: FTL) and Global TeleSystems (GTS) (NYSE: GTS; Frankfurt GTS; EASDAQ: GTSG) today announced that Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC) has purchased capacity on the FLAG Atlantic-1 (FA-1) transatlantic cable system. FA-1 will have the capability of operating at 2 x 2.4 terabits per second (Tbps) and will offer customers direct connectivity between New York, London and Paris. The terms of the multi-million dollar contract were not disclosed.
The FA-1 system, is designed to offer connections to several other cities in Europe, and countries in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, and to be a gateway to global connectivity. GTS and FLAG Telecom are building and will operate the dual cable system as a 50:50 joint venture. The capacity agreement is expected to seamlessly extend the reach of Saudi Telecom's existing network through providing cost-effective, high-speed access to one of the largest telecommunications and Internet markets on earth, the USA. It is expected to carry advanced communication services, particularly the Internet.
Andres Bande, Chairman and CEO, FLAG Telecom and joint Chairman FLAG Atlantic Limited, said, "Saudi Telecom is a landing partner and large investor in the FLAG Europe-Asia cable system, stretching over 28,000 km from Japan to the UK, which entered commercial service in November 1997. We are pleased to continue that relationship with this purchase on the FLAG Atlantic-1 cable system."
Robert Amman, President, GTS and joint Chairman FLAG Atlantic Limited, commented, "Sales on FA-1 remain ahead of target as we can provide a true gateway to global connectivity for customers like Saudi Telecom. "
FA-1 will connect the East Coast of the United States, through city nodes in Manhattan, New York, to two landings in Europe - one in Saint Brieuc, France, and the other inCornwall, United Kingdom, with city nodes in Paris and London respectively. Terrestrial access points provide onward connectivity to the GTS's trans-European network, the existing FLAG Europe-Asia cable system, and other networks. The system provides secure end-to-end circuits to almost all major business centers worldwide. Customers canadd traffic at either the shore landing stations or city nodes.
Global TeleSystems is the leading provider of e*Business and borderless broadband services across Europe, serving businesses and carriers in 20 European countries with arange of broadband, Internet/IP and voice services. As an industry leader in Europe, the company has the largest cross-border fiber-optic network; the largest Tier-1 IP backbone; the most widely deployed pan-European e*Business sales and service staff; and the largest pan-European customer base. GTS's first and most extensive trans-European broadband fiber network includes points of presence in over 50 European cities and stretches across 17,000 route kilometers with five City Enterprise Networks.
(CENs), providing intra-city bandwidth, and plans for a total of 16. GTS has also announced plans to build an advanced trans-Atlantic dual-cable system in a joint venture with FLAG Telecom. Headquartered in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area and with European headquarters in London, GTS has offices in over 80 European cities.
FLAG telecom is a leading independent carriers' carrier. The FLAG Europe-Asia cable system, with 16 operational landing points in 13 countries is the longest private cablesystem ever built, and provies high-capacity digital services to over 90 international carriers and ISPs. The route spans many of the world's fastest growing economies and offers direct connectivity to over 75 percent of the world's population. With FA-1, the operational FLAG Telecom network will stretch over 42,500 km, more than enough tocircle the globe.
Statements contained in this Press Release which are not historical facts may be forward-looking statements, as the term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated.