Bharti Airtel’s subsidiary company, Network i2i Limited has announced its intentions of acquiring the Middle East North Africa Submarine Cable Systems (MENA-SCS). The price tag of the acquisition has not been made public.
Network i2i will take up Orascom’s full stake in MENA-SCS, an agreement, that has since been fully executed by the two parties.
MENA-SCS owns and operates a submarine telecommunication system that runs from Europe, through the Middle East ad reaches South East Asia. MENA-SCS is a subsidiary of Egypt’s Orascom. It covers three continents (Asia, Europe, and Africa) and lands in five countries. Namely India, Oman, KSA, and Egypt and has a working relationship with the TW1 cable operating in Pakistan and UAE.
The MENA-SCS cable runs for 9,030 km and 930 km of it run over solid ground through Egypt and branching into Djibouti, Sudan, and Greece. The cable is made up of six fiber pairs, and each pair has the capability of being expanded to 8 TB/s making and effective capacity of 48 TB/s.
The Network i2i Ltd acquisition of MENA-SCS will go a long way for Bharti Airtel’s strategic business objective of strengthening its global network and brand. On its own, Bharti Airtel can boast of over 225,000 kilometers of fiber cable running through 50 countries across the 5 continents.
Ajay Chitkata, the Director and CEO of Global Voice and Data Business at Bharti Airtel said, “With the explosion of data usage in emerging markets, including India and Africa, this (MENA) asset will provide us a scalable and diverse high capacity highway to serve our customers. The additional capacity will enable Airtel to serve the growing demand for data services and enterprise services across its footprint of 18 countries across South Asia and Africa.”
The MENA-SCS network will add to Bharti Airtel’s portfolio on fiber networks that already includes the East Africa Submarine System (EASSy). This network is an undersea fibre optic cable system connecting the East African region to the rest of the world.