First Direct UK to India Cable to Start Construction

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A construction and maintenance agreement (C&MA) to build the first direct, high-bandwidth optical-fiber submarine cable system from the UK to India, has been signed by 16 telecom companies. The Europe India Gateway (EIG) Cable is forecast to cost over $700 million and will dramatically improve capacity and diversity of these regions.

The companies investing in the project are:

AT&T;Bharti Airtel; BT; Cable &Wireless; Djibouti Telecom; Du; Gibtelecom; IAM; Libyan Post, Telecom and Information Technology Company; MTN Group Ltd; Omantel; PT Comunicacoes, S.A.; Saudi Telecom Company; Telecom Egypt; Telkom SA Ltd; and Verizon Business.

The EIG is a 9,325 mile system connecting three continents, with 13 landing points planned in the UK, Portugal, Gibraltar, Morocco, Monaco, France, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Oman, United Arab Emirates and India. It is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2010 and will also provide interconnection with other main cable systems connecting Europe, Africa, Asia and North America.

The system will  use next-generation technology designed to provide up to 3.84Tb/s using dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) to provide upgradeable transmission facilities supporting Internet, e-commerce, video, data and voice services.

The EIG Consortium has also signed a supply contract with Alcatel-Lucent and Tyco Telecommunications for the cable system’s construction.

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