India's Tata Communications (news, filings) formally launched its 'Tata Global Network - Eurasia' cable today, completing the first 'wholly owned cable network ring around the world'. The 9,280km TGN-EA cable connects Europe to India via the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.
Tata picked up the Atlantic and Pacific pieces of the TGN system from Tyco Telecom after the dot com bubble burst, and then integrated it with their other acquired properties of Teleglobe and ITXC. But from the beginning they had larger undersea cable plans, as they had already been building the Tata Indicom Cable, connecting Singapore to Chennai in India. Then, two and a half years ago they turned up the TGN Intra Asia cable, or TGN-IA, which connected TGN-Pacific's endpoints in Japan and Guam to Hong Kong, Vietnam, the Phillipines, and on to the TIC endpoint in Singapore. The Mumbai-Marseilles piece of the puzzle completes the circuit.
Now, we could split hairs and say that it's not really wholly owned all the way around the world, as the terrestrial portion across both the US and France are at best fiber IRUs. But it's still a nice milestone to achieve. It's all the more interesting in light of its rival Reliance's plans to sell off 75% of FLAG (Fiberoptic Link Around the Globe) to raise cash, as the dot-com crash curtailed FLAG's transpacific plans and Reliance has never chosen to complete them.
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