Reliance unit starts $400m submarine cable project

05 Sep 2006

(The Times of India via NewsEdge) Flag Telecom, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Communications, announced that it has started a $400-million submarine cable project connecting India to key foreign locations.

Flag Telecom said the project, called "Falcon" would connect India with countries in the Middle East and Africa, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, UAE, Yemen, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives.

Officials said the idea behind connecting Middle East was to tap into the rapid growth of trade, tourism and communications in the region.

Reliance also said several nations in the area are expected to de-monopolize their respective telecom sectors and that Reliance could cash in on having an early presence.

India's international bandwidth capacity is largely dominated by Tata-owned VSNL and Bharti Airtel.

Interestingly, most of India's international capacity is skewed towards the Eastern side - Singapore and from there on to the US west coast.

As India's IT sector looks more towards Europe and other parts of the world, bandwidth capacities being added by cable systems like Falcon would come in handy and spur lowering of costs.

Falcon cable will cover nearly 12,000-km. route and have a capacity of 2.56Tbps that would carry ever increasing traffic within Middle East, connecting it to Europe and eventually to the US.

© 2006 The Times of India

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