GCX’s subsea Eagle to fly from Sicily to Hong Kong by 2020

08 November 2017 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


The international unit of Reliance Communications is planning a new 100G subsea cable stretching from China to India to Europe.

The new cable, to be built by Global Cloud Xchange (GCX), the international cloud and carrier unit that is owned by the Indian telco, will be called Eagle and will be part of the group’s Cloud and Fibre Initiative, announced today. It will be ready for service in 2020, said GCX. 

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“Nearly half the world’s population is reachable within a short distance from India’s borders, giving India a strategic edge in the new digital era,” said Bill Barney, chairman and CEO of GCX, who is also CEO of Reliance Communications (RCom).

“The Cloud and Fibre Initiative levels the playing field for India’s tech companies to compete in the new digital order and to play a pivotal role in the anticipated hyper growth of technology expansion across the emerging markets corridor.”

GCX Eagle EastThe cable will be split into two parts, Eagle East, running from Mumbai to Hong Kong, with a number of branches, and Eagle West, running from Mumbai to Sicily via the Red Sea and Egypt.

In a statement this morning, GCX said: “The new Eagle express cable system will be the fastest Mumbai to Hong Kong route, avoiding the outage-prone Malacca Strait. In addition, Eagle will also be the fastest submarine route between India and key technology centres across the Middle East and Europe.”

The new network will be four/six fibre pair systems with initial design capacity of 12-24Tbps per fibre pair, said GCX.

GCX Eagle WestEagle East will be 7,750km long, with landing points in Singapore and other branching units from Mumbai, some of which are indicated on the map issued today by GCX.

The Eagle West map shows a single link from Mumbai to Italy, 8,900km long, but GCX says there will be “diverse routing and landing points within the Mediterranean and low latency subsea routing from Europe to India and beyond”.

Wilfred Kwan, chief operating officer of RCom Enterprise and GCX, said: “With flexible access speeds and open co-location, the system will also enable growing number of OTT start-ups, new generation carriers and smaller cloud operators to buy and rent fiber affordably in a scalable model.”

GCX has not announced any partnerships for the subsea cable project. However it said: “Key partnerships are being finalised and vendor selection discussions are underway with cables targeted to be ready-for-service by the end of 2020.” 

India