Bharti Airtel said it will buy the India leg of a sub-sea cable owned by Gulf Bridge International. The asset links the country with West Asia and Europe, said the telecom firm.
Airtel will also pick up significant share in the West Asia-Europe leg of Gulf Bridge’s sub-sea cable, the firm said.
The value of the transaction was not disclosed.
Gulf Bridge’s cables will add significant long-term bandwidth capacity to Airtel, enabling it to cater to booming data demand across emerging markets like India and Africa, the telecom firm said.
“With this, we are adding a large capacity to meet the growing demand for data and content in markets like India as well as serving the connectivity needs of global carriers and enterprise customers,” said Ajay Chitkara, director and chief executive of global voice and data business at Airtel, in a statement.
Airtel’s international infrastructure includes i2i sub-sea cable, which connects Chennai to Singapore. It has investments in six other sub-sea cables: South East Asia-West Asia-Western Europe, Asia America Gateway, India-West Asia-Western Europe, Unity, Europe India Gateway, and East Africa Submarine System, according to its annual report.
Gulf Bridge is West Asia’s first privately-owned sub-sea cable operator. Strategic investors in Gulf Bridge International include Qatar Foundation Knowledge Ventures, financial institution Gulf Investment Corporation and sovereign wealth funds Qatar Investment Authority, Kuwait Investment Authority, according to its website.