With its conquest of the Indian telecommunications market now mostly consolidated, Reliance Jio is apparently ready for some new challenges. The rising mobile provider has unveiled plans for two new subsea cable systems centered on Mumbai, one reaching to the east, and one to the west.
The India-Asia-Xpress (IAX) system will connect Mumbai with Singapore, with multiple optional branches along the coast on the way there. Meanwhile, The India-Europe-Xpress cable will head the other direction, connecting all the way to Italy with optional stops in the Middle East, East Africa, and the Mediterranean.
Both are well established routes of course, but these days diversity is everything and so is having a seat at the infrastructure table that supports the rest of Reliance Jio’s business. And the latter seems to be what this move is about. Reliance Jio is looking to control its destiny when it comes to connectivity beyond India, and is willing to make big investments to do it — although the details of the funding of the cables was not addressed in the PR.
The IAX and IEX cables will together span some 16,000km and add more than 200Tbps of potential capacity to the market. SubCom will be handling the manufacturing and deployment of the cables, with IAX first in line for a mid-2023 REF date and IEX following in early 2024 if all goes according to plan.
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