News

Aqua Comms expands to India, ready for EMIC-1 cable

Amit Vyas Aqua Comms.jpg

Aqua Comms has bought an Indian infrastructure company to further its project to build EMIC-1, the planned Europe Middle East India Connect subsea cable.

Openbyte Infrastructure is an India-based licensed telecoms company “focused on providing neutral, open access landing solutions for submarine cables”, said Aqua Comms, which is owned by Digital 9 Infrastructure (D9).

Part of the package is Amit Vyas (pictured), who is now CEO of Aqua Comms India and regional chief business development officer for the company.

He will be supported by Neeraj Katiyar, now CTO for India and chief global architect for subsea cables.

Their company, Openbyte Infrastructure, has a rudimentary website which gives little away.

However, Vyas’s LinkedIn entry shows he was a consultant and then a banker before joining Bharti Enterprises and Bharti Airtel, for which he worked until 2012.

He then founded Saltwater Cables, whose website is still under development even though the company was set up in 2012. Saltwater has the same address in New Delhi as Openbyte Infrastructure.

Katiyar worked for Tata Communications for 13 years until 2012, says his LinkedIn entry.

EMIC-1 is a significant project for D9 and Aqua Comms. This week D9 said it plans £20 million investment in Aqua Comms in 2023 and £27 million on EMIC-1.

Over the following four years, to the end of 2027, spend will be £40 million on Aqua Comms and £13 million on EMIC-1.

Nigel Bayliff, CEO of Aqua Comms, said about the Indian deal, for which no price has been given: “This is an important acquisition as we continue to execute our plans to expand the Aqua Comms business into new geographies and as we build out our global network.”

Vyas said: “Openbyte was founded to provide cost effective, open access solutions to make submarine cable capacity accessible to all interested stakeholders, enhance the digital infrastructure of the country and eliminate bottlenecks.”

Aqua Comms chairman Alan Harper said: “With our investment in EMIC-1, we are committed to the Indian market, a cornerstone of our ambitious global expansion plans.”

Vyas said: “Over the next five to seven years the international digital infrastructure in India will be greatly enhanced and we at Aqua Comms will be at the forefront of bringing out this change for the better.”