Airtel, Telecom Egypt in global submarine cable systems pact

Bharti Airtel has entered into a partnership Telecom Egypt to use Middle East North Africa Submarine Cable (MENA Cable) and TE North Cable Systems and take large capacities on two new cable systems (SMW5 and AAE1).

The transactions would be concluded after the fulfillment of all conditions precedents.
The partnership grants Airtel the right to use fibre pairs of MENA cable from Egypt to India with access to Saudi Arabia and Oman, and other fibre pairs from Egypt towards Italy. It will also extend beyond MENA cable, where Airtel will get the right to use a fibre pair from Egypt to France along with capacities on SMW5 and AAE1 cable systems.
“The partnership including MENA Cable and Telecom Egypt’s network will be a good addition to our global network portfolio and provide us with a high quality and diversified new route to Western Europe and the rest of the world. With the explosion of data usage in emerging markets, including India and Africa, this asset will provide us a scalable and diverse high capacity highway to serve our customers,” Ajay Chitkara, director and CEO, Airtel Business, said.
“In particular, it will provide impetus to India’s emergence as a major regional internet hub serving customers across SAARC region, with seamless global connectivity,” he added.
With this, Airtel will be able to further diversify its global network to serve the massive growth in demand for data services, particularly in emerging markets across South Asia, Africa and Middle East, while also benefitting from the favourable economics of Telecom Egypt’s existing wide cable systems network.
“Our reach and position as an international hub with tens of Tbps lit capacity, makes us the partner of choice for Euro-Asian and Euro-African transit traffic. Telecom Egypt signed the agreement with OTMT to acquire MENA Cable with the aim of capitalizing on the growing traffic from India and Saudi Arabia to Europe and to obtain a new gateway to Europe through Italy,” Ahmed El Beheiry, CEO of Telecom Egypt said.
Egypt’s geographic location on the Red and Mediterranean seas has enabled Telecom Egypt to connect more than 11 cable systems from the East and 13 from the West linked with the Red-Med Corridor consisting of 7 diversified routes across Egypt.
Telecom Egypt’s global network was built over the years through investments in international submarine cable systems, namely: TE North, ALETAR, SEA-ME-WE-3, SEA-ME-WE-4, SEA-ME-WE-5, IMEWE, EIG, and AAE-1.