The UAE could be set for not only faster, but also cheaper internet this year.

While we recently wrote about LiFi, an uber-fast, light generated internet service that’s coming to Silicon Oasis – there are also a bunch of new submarine internet cables nearing completion that will bring faster internet to everybody in the country.

While the new cables will make providing internet service cheaper overall, the price consumers actually pay will remain up to Etisalat and du. We’ll keep you updated on any decisions on prices made by the internet service providers.

The cable upgrade will also help handle a predicted rise in data usage coming from data-heavy applications, such as movie streaming as well as increased internet usage on smartphones when 5G mobile networks get released by 2020.

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Residents of the UAE have frequently complained about the current price of internet versus the speed of internet they were receiving, and the new cables could change that.

They will also boost the UAE’s bandwidth capacity by up to four times within the next 10 years.

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Stretching all the way from Europe to the Far East, the new cables include:

– The Asia Africa Europe-1 cable, which will be completed in Q4. It stretches 25,000km between France and China.

– The Bay of Bengal Gateway, due to be completed in Q1, stretching 8,100km from the UAE to Malaysia.

– The Sea-Me-We 5, set for completion in November, which runs 20,000km from Singapore to France.

The below picture shows all the submarine internet cables in the region and their connection points.

uae internet cables

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A popular landing point for internet cables in the UAE is the east coast of Fujairah, where the underwater cables plug into overwater cables which then transmit internet to the cities.

Nearly all of the world’s internet data is transported via submarine cables, as opposed to satellites. Although they’re designed for the harsh underwater environment, they have been affected in the past by the 2011 Japan earthquake, and one cable was nearly sabotaged in 2003 before the Egyptian navy caught three scuba divers trying to cut one.

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