Telcos commission Asia-Middle East cable

Dylan Bushell-Embling
02 May 2013

A consortium of mostly Asian and Middle Eastern operators - including Telekom Malaysia, Dialog Axiata and Reliance Jio Infocomm - have tapped Alcatel-Lucent to build a 100G subsea cable system.

The consortium, which also involves Vodafone, Omantel and the UAE's Etisalat, have signed the contracts for the 8,000km Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG) system.

BBG will link Malaysia and Singapore with Oman and the UAE, and have connections branching to India and Sri Lanka. It is scheduled to launch by end-2014.

The cable will also interconnect with other subsea cable systems to provide connectivity to Europe, Africa and far-east Asia.

“BBG, the first system to be lit as 100G on day-1, will be a step change in capacity on this important route,” said Edward West, chairman of the BBG's Interim Procurement Group.

Alcatel-Lucent has secured a turnkey contract to deliver the BBG system, and will be responsible for design, project management and system commissioning in addition to providing its subsea cable equipment.

This contract is Reliance Jio Infocomm's third fiber deal since the start of April. The Indian newcomer recently signed a domestic fiber sharing agreement with Reliance Communications, and a capacity deal on Bharti Airtel's i2i India-to-Singapore cable. Reliance Jio plans to roll out a nationwide 4G network.

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