Reliance Jio to connect to Asia-Africa-Europe One subsea cable

04 August 2016 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


India’s new 4G mobile operator, Reliance Jio Infocomm, is to go ahead with its connection to the Asia-Africa-Europe One (AAE1) subsea cable.

The company, owned by businessman Mukesh Ambani, has received approval from the country’s environment ministry build its connection to the cable at Mumbai, close to the landing sites of two other cables, Europe India Gateway and Gulf Bridge International.

The government has set strict environmental conditions for Reliance Jio, which is soft-launching its service to selected users at the moment. It can work only at low tide, to ensure no water leaks into the construction works, and has been told not to disturb mangroves and marine life.

Reliance Jio is aiming to be a disruptive entrant to India’s voice and data market, by offering internet speeds that are much faster than rivals’, charged at the equivalent of $0.07 per megabyte. Voice charges are expected to be the equivalent of $0.0007 per second. Ambani has described Reliance Jio as the world’s largest start-up.

The 15,000km AAE1 submarine cable, announced in 2014, connects south east Asia to Africa and Europe through Egypt, connecting Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand , Oman, the UAE, Djibouti, Qatar, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Italy and France.