Korea’s KDDI also part of submarine system called South East Asia Japan Cable
MUMBAI: The demand for bandwidth is making telecom carriers lay cables east, west, north and south of the globe.
In the latest initiative, Bharti Airtel has linked up with Google, KDDI Corporation, Global Transit and SingTel to form a consortium, called South East Asia Japan Cable (SJC), which will connect Southeast Asia. Sources say the initiative is at the conceptual and planning stage.
A Bharti spokesperson, however, could not immediately confirm the initiative. “Our association with five submarine cable systems is already in the public domain. We cannot confirm anything other than those at this point,” said the spokesperson.
Till now, Bharti Airtel has invested in five submarine cable systems, excluding the SJC consortium. It is part of the 17-member America Asia Gateway (AAG) cable consortium that is building a 20,000-kilometre cable network connecting Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Dar-es-salam, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Philippines, Guam, Hawaii and the United States. The network, estimated to cost $500 million, is expected to be complete by the end of 2008.
Bharti also owns the i2i cable system it built in 2002, connecting India and Singapore. It is also a part of the SEA-ME-WE-4 cable system completed in 2005 with landing stations in Mumbai and Chennai.
Recently Bharti has become a part of the four member Europe India Gateway (EIG) cable system owned by telecom major BSNL. The EIG cable link, which cost $400 million, is expected to be completed by 2009.
In February 2008 Bharti became part of the six-member Unity cable system to develop 10,000 km undersea cable system connecting Japan and the United States. The cost of the project was $300 million.}
Experts regard the investments in submarine cable systems as an effort by telecom carriers to meet increased demand for bandwidth. According to an estimate Trans-Pacific bandwidth demand has grown at 63.7% between 2002 and 2007. The total demand for capacity is expected to double roughly every two years.
6 months ago