Airtel to lay undersea cable linking Asia, U.S.
Wednesday, 27 February 2008, 13:38 Hrs
New Delhi: Bharti Airtel, India's leading telecom service provider, along with a global consortium on Tuesday announced it would set up a high-bandwidth undersea cable linking Asia with the U.S. at a cost of about $300 million. The new cable system would be known as Unity, and is aimed at meeting the increasing demand for bandwidth capacity due to the rapid growth in data and Internet traffic between Asia and the US. Besides Bharti, the consortium includes Global Transit of Malaysia, US-based Google Inc, KDDI Corp of Japan and Pacnet and SingTel of Singapore. "This investment is in line with our strategy to extend our international footprint across the globe to provide seamless connectivity to our customers through partnerships with leading global companies," David Nishball, president of Airtel Enterprise Services, said in a statement. "The Unity cable system will address the demand for increased bandwidth between Asia and the US as more and more services migrate to an online environment. This partnership will also provide alternate routes to meet the demands of our customers for increased levels of network resiliency and redundancy." The Unity cable system will provide connectivity between Chikura, located off the coast near Tokyo, to Los Angeles and other West Coast places. At Chikura, Unity will be seamlessly connected to other cable systems, further enhancing connectivity into Asia, the statement said. Earlier this month, the company had announced the construction of another submarine cable system called the 'I-ME-WE Cable System' linking India to France via the Middle East, also in collaboration with international players.