Bharti joins new undersea cable project

By siliconindia staff writer   |   Tuesday, 30 March 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Bharti has signed an agreement to join the South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe-4 (SEA-ME-WE-4) consortium, along with 15 global telecom operators, to develop and own the next generation undersea cable system.

The new cable system is expected to get completed by the third quarter of ’05 and would support telephone, internet, multimedia and various other broadband and data applications. Bharti would be investing $40m in the project estimated to cost $0.5bn. The cable system would give a major boost to the broadband and data requirements of a significant population along its route between Singapore and France via India . SEA-ME-WE-4 is the second major international initiative by Bharti in the data and broadband space, after the installation and successful commissioning of the Network i2i project in partnership with SingTel. The contract for the submarine cable has jointly been awarded to Alcatel of France and Fujitsu of Japan.

“When commissioned, SEA-ME-WE-4 will give an already operational Network i2i cable system an edge in servicing the demand for international bandwidth in India ,” Bharti group chairman and managing director Sunil Mittal said commenting on the development.

The cable system would cover some 20,000 km across the eastern and western world, to achieve ultra fast terabit per second connectivity and would land in the countries, including Singapore , Malaysia , Thailand , Bangladesh , India , Sri Lanka , Pakistan , UAE, Saudi Arabia , Egypt , Italy and France among others. The SEA-ME-WE-4 would complement the Network i2i cable by providing redundancy to its international voice and data services, Bharti said, adding that the broadband and data group of Bharti has been successfully using the Network i2i cable as primary infrastructure backbone for provisioning of international data and voice services.

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