East India Gateway Ready, Almost

February 24th, 2011 by · 1 Comment

Another major submarine cable hooking up Europe is just about ready to roll -- actually it probably would be fully ready if those pesky Egyptians could have waited a few weeks.  (Just kidding guys!)  Verizon, Bharti Airtel, and more than a dozen other consortium partners have accepted delivery of more than 11,300km of the Europe India Gateway (EIG) system as well as 11 of the landing sites.  That leaves just two landing stations in Egypt and the segments that connect through them - Libya to Egypt and Egypt to Saudi Arabia.  The thing about consortiums is that it's hard to get everyone to agree on, well, much of anything.  So when you set a date, you don't change it - even if you're not done yet due to unforseen thing like revolutions.  So EIG is ready to launch, except for the minor part that connects the east to the west.

Ah well, what can you do.  EIG, when fully complete, will have cost somewhere near $700M and will have a design capacity of 3.84Tbps, a substantial boost to potential traffic through the region.  Both Alcatel-Lucent and Tyco have been working on the project.  There's also the SEA-ME-WE-4 upgrade going on, as well as the Gulf Bridge International cable.  Lots of fiber, tons of available capacity, and oddly enough, countries turning off their connections to the rest of the world.

No word on just when the Egypt portion will be ready, I guess the situation is too fluid.  At least they finished with the Libya connection before that situation devolved into chaos.  Perhaps when it's all over the whole region will have a bandwidth renaissance.

Categories: Undersea cables

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  • Anon says:

    The political situation in Egypt doesn’t directly have any bearing on the EIG delay. The issue is one of permiting for the terrestrial portion of the cable, since it passes through some land belonging to the military. This delayed IMEWE to a smaller extent and also TGN EA/TE North/Seacom.

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