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Reliance Communications links Mumbai, Singapore with undersea cable

Friday, 20 June 2014 - 6:35am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Reliance Communications arm Global Cloud Xchange on Thursday announced launch of fresh undersea cable network linking Mumbai and Singapore at an investment of $200 million.

The project will have three other equity partners which are likely to be announced within the next 60-90 days, Bill Barney, chief executive officer of Global Cloud Exchange, said without disclosing the names.

"The equity partners will take one fibre each. There are four fibres. There will be three other partners, two of which would be technology firms and one telecom firm," he said.

Asked whether the company was in talks with Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio, Barney said, "We do a lot of projects with Reliance Jio, but at this point, we are not announcing whether they are in this cable or not."

In April, RCom had signed a master service agreement with Reliance Jio to share its intra-city optic fibre infrastructure.

Global Cloud Exchange was formerly known as Reliance Globecom and Flag Telecom. The subsidiary of Anil-Ambani led RCom would invest close to $40-45 million in the project, which will be funded mainly from internal accruals, Barney said.

The 5,000 km long network between Mumbai and Singapore would have a branch landing Thiruvananthapuram and Chennai. The submarine cable network would take at least 18-19 months to commence operations, as the company is now busy in marine survey, zeroing in on cable vendors and equity partners. Laying of pipe takes around 2-3 months.

The project would start contributing revenues only after 16 months. After three years, ramp-up in revenues is expected, Barney said, without giving any projections. The company hopes to rope in big internet and telecom players in the Asia-Pacific region as its customers.

These undersea fibre optic cables will be replacing an existing set of cables, which is being set up at 1/10th of the cost in India, Barney said.

"This interconnection exchange (ICX) cable will enable us to become the largest cable providers connecting Europe with Asia. It will also provide a 20% growth in assets, and help us tap emerging markets like Sri Lanka," he said.




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