Etisalat subsidiary E-Marine has been awarded a contract to instal the new submarine fibre optic telecommunication cable link between Kuwait and Iran. The project includes the installation of 330 kilometres of cable and the deployment of three branching units.

It is expected to start in the first quarter of next year and completion is set for nine months later. The value of the project was not disclosed.

"The award of this prestigious new contract reinforces our regional presence as the leader in submarine cabling installation and maintenance," said Omar Jassim bin Kalban, chief executive of E-Marine.

"It also gives further proof that we offer highly specialised services according to international standards at most competitive prices," he said.

The contract was awarded by the Telecommunications Company of Iran and Kuwait's Ministry of Communications.

Despite the downturn in the international market, E-marine has been continuously operating profitably while many of its competitors are struggling, said bin Kalban.

He added: "We hope to win additional cable laying contracts from the region."

E-Marine currently operates two cable ships with all facilities and has installed over 13,000 kilometres of tele-communications cabling in the region.

It is also maintaining submarine cables for the UAE network as well as 18,000 kilometres of submarine cables including links between the UAE and India, Pakistan, Iran, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait.