VSNL International to invest US$ 200 million in undersea cable

MUMBAI: VSNL plans to pump in US$ 200 million to build undersea telecom cable linking Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.

The telecom major will make this investment through its Singapore arm, VSNL Singapore Pte Ltd (VSNL International).

The new intra-Asia cable will enable VSNL International to service its global customers doing business in and with the burgeoning Asia-Pacific markets, the company said in an official statement.

The investment of US $ 200 million follows the recent announcement by VSNL to build a new system from India to Europe that will provide connectivity to the Gulf region and the African continent.

The intra-Asia cable, when combined with the Tata Indicom Cable System (TIC) and the TGN-Pacific cable system (both of which are built with eight fibre pairs capable of supporting 7+ Tbil/s of traffic), will complete VSNL International's multi-Terabit capability from India to Asia and onward to the US.

"With Asian bandwidth demand forecasted to grow at an average of 27 per cent CAGR, VSNL International is taking steps to expand its capacity to serve customers in the booming intra-Asia market," comments VSNL International president Vinod Kumar. "This new high-capacity cable system, soon to be one of the region's largest, combined with our existing C2C capacity and TGN-P capacity, will enable us to deliver high-performance bandwidth at the most cost-effective pricing and fulfil our strategy to become the market leader in bandwidth supply."

VSNL International will commence construction of the new intra-Asia cable by December 2006. The scheduled build time for the project is 12-14 months. The Company is already in the process of finalising design details, selecting suppliers and identifying additional partners for the project. Future potential landing stations for the cables include locations in China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Guam.

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