Indian telecommunications giant Tata Communications claims to be the first company to have built a "cable network ring around the world", connecting Europe, the US, Asia and the Middle East.
Tata announced today that it has completed construction of a cable that crosses Egypt, as part of its Tata Global Network – Eurasia (TGN-EA) link. This means that the company now owns a continuous fibre optic route around the planet, it said.
"This a landmark moment for Tata Communications as we officially launch the world’s first wholly-owned global submarine cable network as a complete and robust ring around the world," said CEO and managing director Vinod Kumar.
Kumar said that Tata’s round-the-world ring will offer faster city-to-city connections than traditional, multi-operator networks.
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"Our customers, whether a European auto-manufacturer, an Asian hotel group or a large U.S. financial services firm, need to compete in global markets and are demanding faster and more reliable worldwide connectivity," he said.
Earlier this year, a consortium of network operators announced the launch of the first direct cable link from the UK to India. The Europe India Gateway stretches 15,000 km and is designed to support speeds of up 3.8 Tb per second.
Last year, Hibernian Atlantic, a company that operates one of the transatlantic undersea network cables, announced plans to construct a new, 100Gbps link between Southport, UK and Nova Scotia, Canada. The Hibernian Express cable, due to be built by Chinese giant Huawei, promises to shave miliseconds off financial trades between London and New York.
According to Scott Richie, managing director of international network services provider BSO Network Solutions, it is becoming rarer that companies lay new undersea cables. "We don’t really know the future of fixed-line telecoms," he told Information Age last year. "Who’s going to spend all that money when they don’t know the return?"