Reliance Jio Infocomm, the 4G subsidiary of Reliance Industries (RIL) has signed an agreement to form a consortium of International telcos who will be responsible for building and managing the Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG) submarine cable system.
While the financial details of the agreement were not disclosed, RIL informed that this consortium includes telcos like Malaysia’s Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM), UK’s Vodafone group, Oman’s Omantel, UAE’s Etisalat and Sri Lanka’s Dialog Axiata.
The company informed that this BBG submarine cable system will span across 8,000 km and will connect Malaysia and Singapore to Oman and United Arab Emirates, through India (Mumbai & Chennai) and Sri Lanka.
RIL also claimed that this cable system will provide connectivity to South East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and to the Far East Asia, through interconnections with existing and newly built cable systems landing in India, the Middle East and the Far East Asia and it is expected to carry commercial traffic by the end of 2014.
RIL Cable Network Partnerships
This is the third such cable network tie-up inked by Reliance Jio Infocomm during the month. Last week, it had surprisingly inked a international data connectivity agreement with its potential 4G rival Bharti Airtel. This agreement enabled Reliance Jio to connect to the world’s major business hubs and ISPs, and was expected to be crucial for Jio Infocomm since a majority of the Internet bandwidth consumption in India originates outside of India.
It had also signed a Rs 1,200 crore agreement with its brotherly concern Reliance Communications (RCOM) for sharing RCOM’s nationwide inter-city fibre optic network infrastructure. RIL had said that it will be utilizing multiple fiber pairs across RCOM’s 1,20,000 KM inter-city fiber optic network to provide 4G services in the country. In return, RCOM will get reciprocal access to the optic fiber infrastructure being built by RIL.
Earlier in the day, Bharti Infratel vice-chairman Akhil Gupta had said that they were planning to talk about a potential tower lease agreement with Reliance Jio Infocomm, as indicated by a Reuters report. There were also indications that Reliance Jio Infocomm was reportedly looking to ink a telecom tower sharing agreement with Reliance Communications, although there is no further updates on this deal yet.
On a related note, do read our compilation on what’s being said about Reliance Industries’ launch of 4G data services.