MTN invests in $700m Europe-India cable

The MTN Group is investing in a new $700 million submarine cable system, the European Indian Gateway (EIG), to be built by Alcatel-Lucent starting next month. The 15,000 kilometre-long high bandwidth optical-fibre will connect Europe and India from the United Kingdom to Portugal, Gibraltar, Monaco, Libya, Egypt, Djibouti and the United Arab Emirates.

The cable's purpose is to provide a central linking point for other cable syatems already in the pipeline such as the East African Submarine Cable System (Eassy) and the West African Cable System (WACS). The project is expected to be completed by the middle of 2010 and link other planned cable systems in Africa to global telecommunications infrastructure via Asia and Europe.

Installation of the EIG cable, which is equipped with upgradeable transmission facilities, is expected to increase efficiency and reduce operating costs for Internet connections, e-commerce, video, data and voice services, among other broadband services. The undersea cable will also provide the first direct, high bandwidth optical-fibre submarine cable system from the United Kingdom to India. EIG will provide seamless interconnections and capacity of up to 3.84 terabits per second with seamless links to major cables in North America as well.