Millennium Post

Airtel, Telecom Egypt tie up for global submarine cable systems

New Delhi: Bharti Airtel and Telecom Egypt on Monday announced a strategic partnership through which the Indian firm will get the right to use sub-marine cable networks -- MENA and TE North, which stretches from Cyprus to France via Egypt.

Airtel said that the partnership will enable it to diversify its global network to serve the massive growth in demand for data services, particularly in emerging markets across South Asia, Africa and Middle East.

The geographic location of Egypt on the Red and Mediterranean seas has enabled Telecom Egypt to connect more than 11 cable systems from the east and 13 from the west that are further linked with a cable corridor that has seven diversified routes across Egypt.

Internet data across countries and continents are transmitted through large sub-marine cable systems. Greater access to various sub-marine cable system enhances data transmission capacity of a telecom operator's network.

"Airtel will get IRUs (Indefeasible Right of Use) on Middle East North Africa Submarine Cable (MENA Cable) and TE North Cable Systems," a joint statement from the two companies said.

Telecom Egypt has signed the deal with Orascom Telecom Media and Technology (OTMT) to purchase its stake in MENA cable system -- an important route for Airtel which has operations across 14 African countries.

"In addition, Airtel will also take large capacities on a long-term basis on two new state-of-the-art Cable Systems (SMW5 & AAE1)," the statement said.

The SEA-ME-WE-5 (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe-5) cable system runs across 18 countries between France and Singapore while AAE1 connects 20 countries between France and Hong Kong including Thailand, Combodia, India, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

"The partnership including MENA Cable and TE's network will be a good addition to our global network portfolio and provide us with a high quality and diversified new route to Western Europe and the rest of the world.

"With the explosion of data usage in emerging markets, including India and Africa, this asset will provide us a scalable and diverse high capacity highway to serve our customers,"Ajay Chitkara, Director and CEO - Airtel Business said.

Telecom Egypt CEO Ahmed El Beheiry said: "Our reach and position as an international hub with tens of Tbps (terrabyte per second) lit capacity, makes us the partner of choice for Euro-Asian and Euro-African transit traffic.

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