Strong, secure and constant access to internet bandwidth and the rest of the global network is a must for business sectors like internet-based gaming operators.
Patrick Gatt, Senior Manager – Wholesale & International Services within the Business & Wholesale Team at GO, easily delves in the technical aspects relating to the internet and on the “beautiful engineering realm running under the hood, making all this possible”, noting that “the backbone is mainly built of hard wire …well fibre to be exact, and a great portion of it is submarine.”
Mr Gatt says that GO has long been preparing for the future noting that they “saw this coming from afar and understood that the local requirement will scale up exceedingly quickly.” In turn the company has invested heavily in preparing the country for its future emerging industries, of which iGaming is a clear example.
This has made GO uniquely positioned to be a telecom partner of choice in practically all the local industry verticals. The strategic alliances formed globally whilst widening its reach, have made it known with many as the go-to network for access to and from the Maltese islands.
One can immediately appreciate the benefits of the strategic investment in the local and international network. Making reference to recent reports illustrating Malta’s attractiveness as an investment destination, Patrick Gatt recalls that telcos infrastructure preceded several important indicators in EY’s FDI Attractiveness Scoreboard placing second. He exclaims: “I think this is a loud shout out to the work done by all local telco providers but particularly to the extensive efforts GO does to secure a connected Malta whilst leaving no one behind.”
International connectivity is one of the underlying factors supporting every economic sector. At GO, continues Mr Gatt, they “take this business extremely seriously, and the international network we have built at GO over the past years will support all the possible economic growth in terms of digital ambitions for Malta and provide support to the local business community for many decades to come.”
Mr Gatt explains that besides the various international telco submarine systems linking the Maltese islands to Sicily, GO has decided to invest heavily in an additional subsea infrastructure ‘LaValette’, connecting to the PEACE consortium and linking the Maltese Islands to France and Egypt. This has given a new dimension of international resiliency to the Maltese Islands, and making the country a communications hub in the Mediterranean.
Mr Gatt also notes that GÉANT, the collaboration of European National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), was amongst the first entities making use of this new infrastructure, selecting GO’s network and the new LaValette system to provide the University of Malta with a high-speed low latency dedicated 100G connection as an IRU (Indefeasible Right of Use) towards Marseille, thereby ensuring an important second route from the University of Malta with GÉANT’s GN4-3N network through Marseille.
“GO’s long-term partnership with GÉANT is a proud achievement for us” he continues, whose support highlights GO’s purpose to drive and support the creation of a digital Malta.”
On local connectivity, Mr Gatt points out that “Malta is well on path to being amongst the first EU states to reach nationwide fibre coverage by end 2024. 80 per cent of businesses can today enjoy super-fast internet speeds thanks to GO’s True Fibre network, and by the end of this eight-year project, GO would have invested over €100 million in delivering the fastest possible speeds technology has to offer.” He adds that one cannot refer to the local scenario and ignore the importance around connectivity between our islands, and here is where submarine infrastructure comes again into play. GO has secured access to both available systems as this also aims to address the criticality of Gozo’s geographical insularity.
All of this, notes Mr Gatt, is further supported by extensive investment in constructing kilometres of street ducts for infrastructure access, the extent of GO’s mobile network capabilities, and the ultra-fast 5G coverage powered by a dedicated network of high-speed fibre backbone.
Secure and high-speed networks are highly sought, especially for high-end operations like the iGaming industry with its needs to be constantly connected worldwide.
Illustrating GO’s high-end capabilities, Mr Gatt neatly outlines that “the purposely built True Fibre infrastructure, the resilient submarine network and GO’s international on land presence are orchestrated to support all of that, extending our on-net facilities into wider Europe and Africa as far as Equinix in Frankfurt, in Milan, in Marseille’s Digital Reality Interxion and in Abu Talat in Egypt.”
He notes that “From there onwards, through partnerships to the likes of Telecom Italia Sparkle, Arelion, Telecom Egypt, GTT, EXA, OTE, Vodafone and PCCW Global just to name a few, we can provide Layer 2 connectivity or Point-to-point services to any address globally on behalf of local businesses.”
And specifically for the iGaming industry, he continues that “needless to say, this applies to iGaming customers in particular, whose activity needs private low latency high speed dedicated connections. This set up also provides the necessary capabilities to quickly create express routes to all the main cloud service providers to the tune of AWS, MS Azure, and Google Cloud.”
On dedicated internet access (DIA), Mr Gatt relates that “this resilient way how to provide internet has saved and protected our customers countless times,” citing various recent examples of avoided force majeure events outside Maltese territory in recent times. Complementing GO’s portfolio of services, he makes reference to its colocation capability in their newest ISO certified Data Centre, which he explains, is also PCI-DSS compliant.
In relation to the iGaming industry’s requirements, Mr Gatt notes that its track record makes it amply clear that GO is “prepared to offer the best service to high end businesses including the iGaming industry and will make sure in the process, their customers’ user experiences will continue to be optimal.”
He also underlines that “the culture within GO has always been tied to growth through aggressive investment that made logical sense to the requirements of the industry.” Summing up, Mr Gatt declares that “one thing is for sure: GO and the iGaming industry will remain complimentary, as one will fuel the other’s growth and vice versa. That is a given.”
He considers that “already today, GO is uniquely positioned to meet the iGaming requirements of the future and will be even better tomorrow.” On this he pinpoints that “whilst the company is extremely well partnered and increasingly globally present, the recent investment as a majority stakeholder in CyberSift and the acquisition of majority shareholding of the energy management company Sense Innovation Group Limited (SENS) in 2022 for example, is a true statement of where the company wants to be.”
Finally, he underscores that “GO is no longer just a telecoms company. It is the largest local technology solutions organisation, with an independent yet strong, reliable international presence.”
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