Bharti Airtel’s International bandwidth

The first international telegraphic cable between UK and France, across the English channel was laid in 1850. That was the telegraph cable era. Since then many undersea cables have been laid, starting with copper moving on to coaxial and graduating to fiber optic cables. With each new addition of a high speed undersea fiber optic cable the world gets smaller.

There are many companies which have taken part in connecting the world. Bharti Airtel from India is making its presence felt in connecting the world to India and vice versa.

Bharti, fresh off from the Zain acquisition, is always in the news. It was only few days ago it launched the 50Mbps broadband for home users. With the commencement of this Japan-US sea link, Bharti has bolstered its position in the international bandwidth arena.

Bharti Airtel’s share in the international bandwidth :

Bharti Airtel has 118,337 Rkms of optic fiber network across India. Airtel has a part in the 89,720 Rkm international undersea cable through various consortiums. These are at various stages of completion.

Unity: With an investment of $300 million this 9,620km long cable between Japan and US has a capacity of 4.8TB/s. This cable connects Chikura in Japan with 3 points in the US – Los Angeles, Palo Alto and San Jose. Bharti is part of the consortium which has companies like Singtel, Pacnet and Google.

i2i – Fully owned by Bharti. Airtel Singtel joint venture company is responsible for this 3200 km long cable from Singapore to Chennai. The landing station is in Chennai. From Singapore it will connect to SEA-ME-WE 3 and APCN 2.  i2i cable network is the world’s largest capacity undersea cable project, which supports a bandwidth of upto 8.4 TBPS and is a 50:50 joint venture between Bharti and SingTel.

SEA-ME-WE 4: South East Asia–Middle East–Western-Europe-4 — Connects India with Europe, U.S and the Far East. 20,000kms in length this line has a total cost of $500m and Bharti’s contribution is $40m.

I-ME-WE: (India-Middle East-Western Europe) is a 13,000km (8,100 mi) submarine communications cable system between India and France. The design capacity is 3.84 Terabits per second. It has been operational since 2009. It has a landing starting in Mumbai.

AAG – Asia America Gateway: Connects Singapore and US directly with a cable landing station in Hong Kong. It is 20,000kms in length. Bharti is part of consortium that built this cable.

EIG: Europe India Gateway  – Bharti Airtel along with fifteen other global telecommunications majors, has built this 150,000km cable at a cost of $700m. This connects India with the United Kingdom, connecting 13 other countries.

SJC: South East Asia Japan cable – This proposed 8,300km long cable linking Singapore to Japan – via Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines – will complete Bharti’s Asia to America link and is under construction.

India to US connectivity will be complete adding more bandwidth to India. The follow half loop done by Bharti Airtel is proof of that.

i2i: Connects India to Singapore

SJC: Connects Singapore to Japan

Unity: Japan to the US

With India-Europe lines like EIG, I-ME-WE, SEA-ME-WE-4, Airtel has covered the other side of the globe as well. Bharti might not be as ambitious as Google when it comes to broadband speeds but it sure is making its presence felt.

Suggested Reading : How is India connected to the Internet?