A new submarine cable connecting India with West Asia and Western Europe, called I-ME-WE, will be laid by a group of leading international telecom service providers, Etisalat, Saudi Telecom, Telecom Egypt, Telecom Italia Sparkle and the Tata-controlled Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL).
VSNL said in a statement on Monday that the cable will have a proposed design capacity of at least 2.56 terabits per second (Tbps). All of I-ME-WE's member parties are committed to keeping up "a scorching pace" of progress to enable a "ready-for-service" status by mid-2008, with the expectation of construction contracts being awarded by the end of this year, the statement said.
The cable project will connect major countries in the region including India, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Italy and France. The network will provide high-speed connectivity to Asia, the Middle East, North and East Africa and Western Europe and meet their exploding bandwidth requirements.
The five telecom majors have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work jointly on the construction of the undersea cable, which will leverage the strength of these major carriers and provide interconnection facilities with several existing and emerging networks in the regions.