Two weeks back we cautioned about India’s diminishing role as an unavoidable stopover in Eurasian telecoms connectivity. Now India’s Reliance has joined the Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG) consortium to build an 8,000 kilometer submarine cable system to link Singapore and Penang with Oman via India and Sri Lanka. It has planned to commence carrying commercial traffic by end of 2014. Other members of the consortium are: Telekom Malaysia, Vodafone, Omantel, Etisalat and Dialog Axiata.
It is lot more than just another submarine cable. From Singapore it travels over land across Malaysia and terminates at Penang. Then it takes a dive in to the sea to connect Chennai, Colombo and Mumbai before terminating at Fujairah (UAE) and Barka (Oman). From Oman the BBG cable gets connected with Europe-Persia Express Gateway or EPEG to begin its terrestrial journey to Europe. One week ago we celebrated with Renesys the activation of EPEG. Earlier, we applauded at numerous terrestrial cable initiatives linking the Middle East with Europe.
The BBG Cable avoids the pirate-infested Strait of Malacca, as its eastern end starts from Penang. It also reasonably averts the risk of Somali pirates at the horn of Africa. Most importantly, it completely avoids Egypt. All these issues make BBG a lot safer cable in this region.
The construction of this cable system is a clear indication of the growing demand for bandwidth at the participating countries. The markets are expected to see strong growth with the continuous efforts in embracing the broadband technologies and infrastructure expansion.
See the route map and read full report here.