Mumbai: Reliance Communications plans to invest $1.5 billion (around Rs7,000 crore) in Flag Telecom, its under-sea cable subsidiary, over the next three years. The investment would be spent in laying an additional 50,000 km of optic fibre cable and expand the company''s reach to over 60 countries.
Over the next three years, Flag Telecom will build the world''s largest internet protocol (IP) network over submarine cable systems.
Termed FLAG-Next Generation Network (FLAG NGN), the project will cater to over 5 billion customers across the globe says Anil Ambani, chairman, Reliance Communications. He added that Flag Telecom should become the third largest undersea cable system player in the world once the project was commissioned.
Flag''s global network will span 1,15,000 km by December 2009, taking the total optic fibre assets of Reliance Communications to over 2,30,000 km. The company would fund the project through internal accruals and debt, said Ambani.
Currently, Flag Telecom operates the world''s largest private under-sea cable system spanning 65,000 km and has a customer base of over 200 leading operators, which include the top 10 international carriers.
Reliance Communications had acquired Flag Telecom for $207 million in October 2003.