Yesterday a consortium of 16 telecommunications companies signed an agreement to construct the ‘Europe-India Gateway’ (EIG) cable system, a submarine cable that will span 15,000km from the UK to India. EIG is projected to be completed in Q2 2010 at a cost of USD700 million, and will have maximum potential capacity of 3.84Tbps. The EIG cable joins a long list of planned new undersea cable projects that will connect Europe, the Middle East and India—it will be the fifth new cable due to enter service between Europe and Egypt in the 18-month period from Q1 2009 and Q2 2010.
Damage to two cables on this route, SMW-4 and FLAG Europe-Asia, caused significant disruptions to communications between Europe, the Middle East, and Asia earlier this year. The addition of these new cables will provide extra capacity and multiple options for routing traffic, improving the resiliency of networks in the region. The five new cables will combine to add 26.24Tbps of potential capacity.
The 16 telecoms companies investing in the project are: AT&T, Bharti Airtel, British Telecom, Cable & Wireless, Djibouti Telecom, Du, Gibtelecom, IAM, Libyan Post, Telecom and Information Technology Company, MTN Group, Omantel, PT Comunicacoes, Saudi Telecom, Telecom Egypt, Telkom South Africa, and Verizon. With the exception of Telecom Egypt, Saudi Telecom and Bharti, the members of the EIG consortium are not involved with any of the other planned projects on the route.
For a complete overview of the state of the wholesale industry, see TeleGeography’s Global Bandwidth Research Service (http://www.telegeography.com/products/gb/index.php)