Indian telecommunications giant Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd has announced its participation in the construction and deployment of two next generation cables to support what it calls the extraordinary growth in data demand across India.
The India-Asia-Xpress (IAX) undersea cable system will connect India to Asia-Pacific markets with express connectivity from Mumbai and Chennai to Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. The India-Europe-Xpress (IEX) system will connect India to the Middle East and Europe.
The IEX system will extend India’s connectivity to Italy, landing in Savona, in the western part of the northern Italian region of Liguria, with additional landings in the Middle East and North Africa.
The systems will seamlessly interconnect as well as connect to the world’s top interexchange points and content hubs to enable extension of the service globally. The two systems are also connected to the Reliance Jio Global Fibre Network beyond Asia Pacific and Europe, connecting to both the east and west coast of the USA.
IAX is expected to be ready for service in mid-2023, while IEX will be ready for service in early 2024. Along with several key global partners and submarine cable supplier SubCom, the company says it is currently deploying the largest international submarine cable system connecting India – referring, one assumes, to the two cables once they are interconnected.
According to Reliance Jio, these high-capacity and high-speed systems will provide more than 200Tbps of capacity spanning over 16,000 kilometres. In addition, employing open system technology and the latest wavelength switched RoADM/branching units will ensure rapid upgrade deployment and flexibility to add or drop waves across multiple locations.
The company claims that, for the first time in the history of fibre optic submarine telecommunications, these systems place India at the centre of the international network map.
Apart from SubCom, which offers numerous capabilities for implementing undersea networks, it’s not yet clear who the other partners in the two projects are likely to be.