Hatif Libya inked a fiber optic network with U.S. firm

Libya’s government-owned telecom Hatif Libya signed on Monday an agreement to improve its fiber optic network with an U.S.-based supplier of open optical networking solutions called Infinera. 

This project will provide access to internet and mobile services in Libyan areas that were not covered previously by the network and improve the quality and reliability of services for all customers.  

Infinera will install Automatically Switched Optical Network (ASON) technology, that will enable the Libyan company to dynamically switch traffic over diverse paths to ensure the continuation of services in the case of disconnections caused by physical damage to cables or power outages. 

The agreement will allow Hatif Libya, a subsidiary of Libyan Telecommunication Holding Company (LPTIC), to deliver capacities and cyber protection for 60 sites throughout the in the country using advanced optical equipment and technologies. 

This will allow the company 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. 

According to a joint statement, this collaboration will enable Libya to benefit from its strategic location in linking Europe and Africa. 

The financial details of the deal were not disclosed, yet the statement described it as a “multi-million-dollar project.” 

“We view this exciting new partnership between Hatif Libya and Infinera as a major steppingstone 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,” said prime minister AlDabaiba during the signing ceremony.  

In parallel, Mohamed Belras Ali, chairman of Hatif Libya explained that the network is secured from external intrusions and have capacities that will meet the increasing demand for services.  

On the other hand, David Heard, chief exec of Infinera, considered that this partnership represents a key foundation of the local telecom sector.  

“Working together, we can build a telecommunications infrastructure that will meet current and future needs,” he added. 

The U.S. Ambassador and Special Envoy to Libya, Richard Norland, said during the ceremony “we see that Libya is open for business, including American business, and that gives us a lot of joy.” 

It’s worth mentioning that this is a major step towards the country’s growth; since the Arab country’s telecoms sector had been heavily impacted by the spurring civil war that lasted for almost six years. 

A war that ripped through the industry’s infrastructure, including a quarter of the country’s mobile tower sites, according to a 2019 by Australia-based research and consulting company BuddeComm