Bharti Airtel to buy subsea cable network from Orascom
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Bharti Airtel Ltd said on Tuesday it has agreed to acquire a subsea cable network of Egyptian firm Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding SAE that connects India and Europe via the Middle East.

The Orascom unit, Middle East North Africa Company Submarine Cable Systems SAE (MENA-SCS), owns and operates a subsea optic network connecting Mumbai, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Italy, Bharti said in a stock-exchange filing.

MENA-SCS has the option of expanding to Cyprus, Greece, Djibouti, Yemen, Iran, Lebanon, Libya and Sudan, Bharti said.

India’s largest telecom operator didn’t disclose financial details of the proposed acquisition.

It said the deal is aimed at strengthening its global network that covers 50 countries. The additional capacity will help the company meet growing demand for data and enterprise services across 18 countries in South Asia and Africa, it said.

“With the acquisition of data usage in emerging markets, including India and Africa, this asset will provide us a scalable and diverse high capacity highway to serve our customers,” said Ajay Chitkara, director and CEO of global voice and data business at Bharti Airtel.

Bharti’s existing network of subsea cables includes ownership of i2i system connecting Chennai to Singapore and the SMW4 system connecting Chennai and Mumbai to Singapore and Europe. It also has investments in a number of other cable systems connecting Asia, America and Europe.

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