VSNL to dole out $600M

By agencies   |   Friday, 25 August 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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MUMBAI: VSNL is expected to build two submarine cable systems involving an investment of $600m, to link its global undersea cable business. The telecom has also slashed international bandwidth prices by up to 40 percent, thereby widening chances to augment its market share.

The cable between India and Europe via the Middle East is likely to cost $350 million. VSNL also has plans of building a submarine, which would be ready by mid-08, they claim. The second cable, from Singapore to Japan via Hong Kong, which would require an investment of $250 million, is anticipated to be operational by the end of next year.

Talking to press persons, VSNL executive director N Srinath said, “The new cable systems will help us complete the global picture of submarine cables. We are looking at partners for this investment. The whole amount ($600 million) will not come from us. We are in discussions with various players for partnership.”

The company has not decided upon the vendors for building the cable systems. “The new cables will not contribute directly to voice business. They will give us better control over prices. A bigger impact will be on data services,” he said.

The India-Europe cable would connect Gulf and African and add-on VSNL’s existing bandwidth capacity in several consortium cables in the region, said Srinivas Addepalli, head of corporate strategy, VSNL.

The intra-Asia cable between Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan is expected to improve the link between VSNL’s Tata Indicom Cable (Chennai-Singapore) and TGN Pacific (Japan-U.S.).

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