Bharti Airtel launches India-Bangladesh fibre cable

22 July 2013 | Natasha Culzac


Bharti Airtel's terrestrial fibre optic India-Bangladesh cable, designed to link the countries and bolster internet speeds, has today gone live.

The move is part of a bid to enhance voice and data connectivity between the two countries before India's long-awaited 3G rollout. The link will runs from Bongaon in West Bengal, India, to the Petrapole-Benapole border.

The New Delhi-based telecoms company wants to fully prepare for an expected data surge once 3G services are auctioned on 2 September 2013. It also wants to enhance transit traffic between Bangladesh and other "key business hubs" such as Singapore, London, Chennai and Los Angeles, via India.

Chris Tobit, CEO, Airtel Bangladesh said: “This commencement of terrestrial optical fiber connection between India and Bangladesh will be a key catalyst for Bangladesh’s future growth in telecommunication. This will enable Bangladesh to connect to the rest of the world with improved voice quality and high speed data.”

The new cable will provide Bangladesh an alternative source of telecoms capacity, adding to the undersea routing and satellites which customers rely on.

It is understood that the company is hoping to increase its market penetration in Bangladesh, which stands at about 8% presently.

Earlier this year Bharti Airtel extended its 4G offering in India with the launch of LTE services in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula, in the Punjab region of India.