India's largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel and Egyptian service provider Telecom Egypt service provider Telecom Egypt have entered into a partnership, wherein, former will get IRUs (Indefeasible Right of Use) on the Middle East North Africa Submarine Cable (MENA Cable) and TE-North Cable Systems.
In addition, Airtel will also take large capacities on a long-term basis on two new state-of-the-art Cable Systems (SMW5 & AAE1) adding that the transactions aim to be concluded after the fulfillment of all conditions.
The partnership grants Airtel the right to use fiber pairs of MENA Cable from Egypt to India with access to Saudi Arabia and Oman, and other fiber pairs from Egypt towards Italy.
It also extends beyond MENA Cable, where Airtel will get the right to use a fiber pair from Egypt to France on TE North along with capacities on SMW5 and AAE1 cable systems.
Ajay Chitkara, Director, and CEO - Airtel Business said: "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. 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."
Furthermore, 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 the Middle East, while also benefitting from the favorable economics of Telecom Egypt's existing wide cable systems network.
Ahmed El Beheiry, Chief Executive Officer of Telecom Egypt commented, "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."
Telecom Egypt's global network was built over the years through investments in international submarine cable systems that include TE North, ALETAR, SEA-ME-WE-3, SEA-ME-WE-4, SEA-ME-WE-5, IMEWE, EIG, and AAE-1.
Bharti Airtel's global network portfolio includes ownership of i2i submarine cable system connecting Chennai to Singapore, consortium ownership of SMW4 submarine cable system connecting Chennai and Mumbai to Singapore and Europe, and new cable system investments like Asia America Gateway (AAG), India Middle East & Western Europe (IMEWE), Unity, EIG (Europe India Gateway) and East Africa Submarine System (EASSy).
It also has terrestrial express connectivity to neighboring countries including Nepal, Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and China.