A consortium of nine carriers have officially launched IMEWE, the first of two India-to-Europe cables, bringing to market a
13,000km fibre system that links Mumbai in India to Europe via the Middle East with a design capacity of 3.84Tbps. The arrival of the new IMEWE cable, backed by Bharti Airtel (India), Etisalat (UAE), France TelecomOrange (France), OGERO (Lebanon), Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (Pakistan), SaudiTelecom Company STC,(Saudi Arabia), Telecom Egypt (Egypt),Telecom Italia Sparkle (Italy), and Tata Communications (India),now brings new capacity on what is often regarded as an under¬served route.
But for Bharti, the operator of IMEWE’s cable landing station in Mumbai, the new system not only enhances its connectivity options to Europe, but also opens up the opportunity of establishing a new IP hub in India.
First and foremost, the arrival of the new capacity on IMEWE now provides a robust link between the high Internet traffic growth in the Middle East to India, says Ajay Chitkara, CEO ofthe Global Data Business at Bharti Airtel, one of the biggest in¬vestors in the project.
“With this cable, almost all the Middle East peers – who were normally going to Europe and coming into Asia Pac – now Indiawill become a kind of IP hub because this cable will land in Mumbai,” Chitkara told CommsDay International.
“This will serve the Middle East IP demand from India instead of going to Singapore and some other places.”
Handing off their traffic in India would make a lot of sense for Middle East carriers. Not only is India geographically closerto Europe from the Middle East, hence less bandwidth costs – although transit prices in Europe are gener-ally cheaper than the Asia Pacific, but it is also closer than the closest Asian IP hub, Singapore, which requires an additional, and currently quite expensive, path between the west coast of India to Singapore.
What gives Bharti an edge here is the fact that it also owns and operates the i2i system between India and Singapore, which would give it some cost advantages over competing operators when transporting its capacity to Singapore.
In addition to the option of passing off trafficin Singapore,
Bharti is also an investor in AAG, which now allows it to pass traffic directly to the US, bypassing the Asian infrastructure alto¬gether.
At the same time, Chitkara asserts that the IMEWE system,
in combination with i2i, would also givethe operator an edge
for westbound traffic from Asia to Europe.
IMEWE (India-Middle East-Western Europe) submarine cable is an ultra high capacity fiber optic submarine cable system which links India & Europe via Middle East.This 3 fiber pair system with total length of approx. 12,091km is well complemented with 9 teminal stations forming a consortium of 9 leading telecom carriers from 8 countries.