The country's largest mobile operator, Bharti Airtel, along with VSNL and seven other global telecom Companies will build a high-capacity fibre optic submarine cable, stretching from India to France via the Middle East. The cable system, known as I-ME-WE (India, Middle East, Western Europe) is the fifth in the series of similar cable systems, which includes the SEA-ME-WE (South East Asia-Middle East-West Europe) series.
The company on Wednesday said in a statement that it had signed a construction and maintenance agreement in Rome to build the system. The other Companies to execute the project include Etisalat (UAE), France Telecom (France), Ogero (Lebanon), PTCL (Pakistan), STC (Saudi Arabia), TE (Egypt) and TIS Sparkle (Italy). The consortium members have also signed the supply contract for the construction of the I-ME-WE submarine cable system.
"While our existing i2i and SEA-ME-WE-4 cable system provides connectivity across the globe, the I-ME-WE will help offer increased redundancy and resilient networks, while meeting the increasing demands of voice, private data and Internet traffic. This partnership will also play a key role in our endeavour to provide alternate routes for meeting bandwidth requirements of our customers at any given time," said Rajan Swaroop, executive director-global network services, Airtel Enterprise Services.
The I-ME-WE cable system is designed to provide 3.84 terabits per second and covers a distance of almost 14,000 kilometers, extending from India right up to France. It is likely to be available for service by late 2009. Once complete, it will meet the ever-growing capacity requirements of Asia, Middle East and Europe besides catering to the capacity needs of the US to these regions as well.