2023 is set to be an exciting year for Gulf Bridge International (GBI) as they look to enrich offerings to customers. In an exclusive interview with Telecom Review North America, GBI CCO Brendan Press shared about the company’s footprint, digital transformation efforts as well as the upcoming projects in 2023.

With 15 years in the business, how does GBI (as a global cloud, connectivity, and content enabler) empower businesses, connect societies, and contribute to accelerated digital transformation?

Gulf Bridge International (GBI) has played a critical role in supporting the digitalisation of societies in the Middle East. Over 15 years, we have championed our delivery of a customer-driven approach to the carrier industry, supporting businesses to connect to global destinations directly and seamlessly. Through our Sm art Network of terrestrial and submarine cables with a unique positioning in the Gulf, we have provided certainty to customers investing in challenging markets.

We are now at a point where our offering extends outside the Gulf region as GBI comes to upgrade and diversify our network to global customers. With the increasing investment of over-the-top (OTT) providers, we have come to work directly with the world’s most popular social media applications. Through these long-term partnerships, GBI has cemented its position as a global content and services enabler, accelerating the future of digital communications.

How do you fulfill your leadership role of ensuring great customer experience and implementing effective strategy and business plans to achieve exceptional results?

I believe that it is entirely dependent and made possible by the incredible work of our people. I function as an extension of each team member and work to weave their efforts around overarching business priorities and goals. We are a relatively small company, and our success depends on us working closely together to meet customer demands in an agile way. My role is to set the course and support the team collectively to deliver expectations and meet objectives.

I aim to make our people-first approach to customers correspond to the experience of the GBI team. This allows each member to thrive and remain firmly attached to our vision, thereby maximising the customer experience and commercial resilience of our brand and business potential.

Can you talk about GBI's footprint when it comes to your network and enterprise solutions? How do you maintain a strong relationship with customers?

GBI’s Smart Network currently spans from Asia to Europe, with our headquarters in Qatar located at the centre. We view our strategic positioning as unique, guaranteeing dedicated connectivity between Asia and Europe. We provide multiple routes from the region to Europe, providing traditional as well as new low latency routes offering customers diversity and choice depending on their requirements. By offering protection on all our routes, GBI provides customers complete reassurance in the event of a network outage.

We also appreciate the variety of budget expectations of our clients, regularly assessing pricing levels to ensure we are consistent to the market and lowering our costs on end-to-end solutions. We offer a full portfolio of services to our carrier partners and serve some strategic enterprise customers with our own customised services.

Connecting East to West, what is the key to bridging the connectivity gap and how will GBI continue to respond to this?

While the Middle East has undergone significant transformation in the last few decades, the connectivity gap persists – though it is closing at rapid pace as it becomes a competitive global economy. However, with the region situated in-between the continents of Asia and Europe, cable routes connecting them have traditionally crossed the Indian Ocean and then via Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea.

With growing capacity demands going down a single connectivity pathway, these in-demand routes can become bottlenecks feeding into a host of issues for new and existing customers looking for assured connectivity and content enablers. To solve this, GBI’s recent investment in the North Route via Iraq has enabled us to leverage the Gulf region to support the maintenance of Europe-Asia connectivity at competitive rates and lower latencies. This is also allowing us to provide full diversity between the North and South routes in the event of any outage. Only GBI has this market proposition, enabling customers to be fully assured on the delivery of services.

Can you share details on some of GBI's upcoming projects and initiatives for 2023?

The sustained growth of the telecommunications industry continues to be driven by evolving demands from end-users. Global consumption of data continues to rise, but businesses increasingly want a more personalised experience with providers. For this reason, we are seeing a proliferation of localised data centres situated around economic hubs. Thanks in part to the unprecedented growth of new industries such as gaming, our work is becoming defined by collaborating with players outside of the carrier industry more directly.

2023 is set to be an exciting year for GBI as we look to enrich our offering to customers. The digital transformation of the Gulf region is allowing us to become a key player in this process due to our historic identity situated at the heart of the Middle East. Through new partnerships with regional neighbours, GBI will expand its fully hosted, end-to-end connectivity solutions to new markets experiencing unparalleled demand. This, combined with the integration of data hosting and managed solutions, will propel GBI’s status as a trusted provider of the platform for the digitalisation of the region and beyond.

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