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Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio Make Big Moves In Undersea Cable System

"Through SEA-ME-WE-6, Airtel will add a significant amount of 100 TBps capacity to its global network," the statement said

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Bharti Airtel on Monday announced it has joined SEA-ME-WE-6 undersea cable consortium, participating as a major investor, while Reliance Jio said it will land its India-Asia-Xpress (IAX) undersea cable system in Hulhumale, Maldives.

In a day of twin developments, the two large operators came out with separate announcements related to undersea cable projects.

Airtel said it is participating as a "major investor" in the SEA-ME-WE-6 and is anchoring 20 per cent of the overall investment in the cable system, which will go live in 2025.

Bharti said it has joined the 'SEA-ME-WE-6' consortium to scale up its high-speed global network capacity to serve India's fast-growing digital economy.

The 12 other consortium members of SEA-ME-WE-6 include Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company, Dhiraagu (Maldives), Djibouti Telecom, Mobily (Saudi Arabia), Orange (France), Singtel (Singapore), Sri Lanka Telecom, Telecom Egypt, Telekom Malaysia, and Telin (Indonesia).

The 19,200 Rkm (route kilometres) SEA-ME-WE-6 will connect Singapore and France, and will be among the largest undersea cable system globally.

"Through SEA-ME-WE-6, Airtel will add a significant amount of 100 TBps capacity to its global network," the statement said.

Airtel has acquired one fibre pair on the main SEA-ME-WE-6 system and will co-build four fiber pairs between Singapore Chennai Mumbai as part of the cable system. Airtel will land the SEA-ME-WE-6 cable system in India at new landing stations in Mumbai and Chennai.

SEA-ME-WE-6 will be integrated with Nxtra by Airtel's large data centres in Mumbai and Chennai to enable global hyperscalers and businesses to access integrated solutions and strengthen India's position as an emerging data centre hub in the region.

Meanwhile, India's largest mobile operator Reliance Jio Infocomm said it will land the multi-terabit India-Asia-Xpress (IAX) undersea cable system in Hulhumale, Maldives. The high capacity and high-speed IAX system will connect Hulhumale directly with world's major internet hubs in India and Singapore.

Jio's IAX project will land in the Maldives in collaboration with Ocean Connect Maldives, the company said in a statement.

The IAX system originates in Mumbai in the west and connects directly to Singapore, with branches including additional landings in India, Malaysia, and Thailand.

The India-Europe-Xpress (IEX) system connects Mumbai to Milan, landing in Savona, Italy, and includes additional landings in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Mediterranean.

IAX is expected to be ready for service end-2023, while IEX will be ready for service in mid-2024.

"These high capacity and high-speed systems will provide more than 200Tb/s of capacity at speeds of 100Gb/s, over 16,000 kilometers," Jio statement informed.


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