On Friday, NTT announced plans to begin constructing a new submarine cable system in the Indian Ocean via its Singaporean joint venture Orient Link Pte, Ltd. The new MIST cable will connect Singapore with both Mumbai and Chennai as well as picking up Myanmar along the way.
The new MIST cable will span 11,000km with an 12 fiber pairs and an initial design capacity of a massive 240Tbps. It will cost about $400M and connect up to NTT's other cable systems (ASE, APG, PC-1, and JUPITER) and the data centers the company operates on each end.
There are two key takeaways I, umm, take away from NTT's buildout plans. One is that NTT remains one of the few national incumbent operators that is still spending substantial resources on submarine cable systems, whereas most have pretty much handed the reins to hyperscalers, infrastructure funds, and the like. Oh I'm sure that the hyperscalers are involved in MIST behind the scenes, but the point remains. The other takeaway is that someone is landing a submarine cable in India without an Indian carrier being directly involved, a phenomenon that probably derives from the turmoil that continues within the Indian telecommunications marketplace.
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