Airtel Partners with Meta, STC to Bring World’s Longest Subsea Cable to India - Wire & Cable India
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Airtel Partners with Meta, STC to Bring World’s Longest Subsea Cable to India

Foundational connectivity infrastructure such as subsea cable systems is crucial for supporting the rising demand for high-speed data and digital services as India prepares to roll out 5G networks later this year.

December 05, 2022

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Digital communications solutions provider Bharti Airtel has announced a partnership with Facebook parent Meta and Saudi Telecom Company (STC) to extend 2Africa Pearls to India. The collaboration will apparently help Airtel and Meta to support the emerging requirements of customers and enterprises in India. The companies have joined forces to invest in global connectivity infrastructure and CPaaS-based new-age digital solutions. Touted to be the world’s longest subsea cable system, the 2Africa cable will significantly boost India’s cable capacity and empower global hyper-scalers and businesses to build new integrated solutions and provide a high-quality seamless experience to customers.

Foundational connectivity infrastructure such as subsea cable systems is crucial for supporting the rising demand for high-speed data and digital services as India prepares to roll out 5G networks later this year. Airtel and Meta will extend the cable to Airtel’s landing station in Mumbai and also pick up the dedicated capacity to further strengthen its submarine network portfolio.

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As members of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) Open RAN project group, Airtel and Meta have been pioneers of Open RAN technologies with the shared goal of increasing ecosystem diversity, driving innovation, and cost-efficiency in connectivity networks. Airtel has signed an agreement to help increase the operational efficiency of Open RAN and facilitate energy management and automation in radio networks using advanced analytics and AI/ML models. The company is currently conducting trials for 4G and 5G Open RAN solutions on select sites in the state of Haryana and will commercially deploy the solution across several locations in India over the next few quarters. It will share its learning with wider ecosystem partners within the TIP community, including Meta, to help accelerate the deployment of Open RAN-based networks across the world.

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Talking about the development, Ms. Vani Venkatesh, CEO – Global Business, Bharti Airtel said, “With our contributions to the 2Africa cable and Open RAN, we are investing in crucial and progressive connectivity infrastructure which is needed to support the increasing demand for high-speed data in India.” Mr. Francisco Varela, Vice President of Mobile Partnerships for Meta added, “Subsea cables and open, disaggregated networks continue to play a huge role in the foundational infrastructure needed to support network capacity and fuel innovation. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Airtel to further advance the region’s connectivity infrastructure that will enable a better network experience for people and businesses across India.”

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