Airtel acquires the India leg of GBI’s India–Middle East–Europe submarine cable

06 March 2018 | Jason McGee-Abe


Bharti Airtel and Gulf Bridge International (GBI) have announced a strategic agreement to unlock the capacity on GBI’s India-Middle East-Europe submarine cable system.

Abdulla Al Rwaili Executive Vice Chairman and MD of GBI
Abdulla Al Rwaili, Executive Vice Chairman and MD, GBI
Under the agreement, Airtel will acquire the ownership of the India leg of GBI’s India-Middle East-Europe submarine cable. Airtel will also pick up a significant capacity on Middle East-Europe leg of GBI’s cable system.

“We are delighted to announce this agreement with GBI. With this, we are adding a large capacity to meet the growing data, content demand in markets like India as well as serve the connectivity needs of global carriers and enterprise customers,” said Ajay Chitkara, director and CEO for global voice and data business, Bharti Airtel.

“The agreement offers great synergies to Airtel and GBI as both partners will able to build on each other’s strengths in their respective markets. This will also complement Airtel’s existing global network spanning 250,000Rkms with presence in 50 countries and contribute to our vision of serving customers with a future ready network that is built on cutting-edge technology.”

Airtel and GBI have also agreed to formulate joint Go-to-Market strategies and leverage the footprint of their respective global networks to serve global customers. It will consolidate Airtel’s global network and capacity leadership and enable it to serve the exploding data demand in emerging markets like India, Gulf and Africa.

It now has large capacities – owned and leased - on multiple international submarine cable systems and offers the maximum number of routes between India and Europe. GBI’s submarine cable asset will complement Airtel’s existing global cable network viz. IMEWE, EIG, SMW4 and MENA and add significant long term bandwidth capacity, enabling it to serve the booming data demand across emerging markets like India and Africa.

Abdulla Al Rwaili, executive vice chairman and managing director, GBI, added: “We are committed to build a sustainable network in partnership with global leaders, with an ultimate goal to offer the best user experience to our partners and end-users. In line with this objective, today, we are excited to on-board Airtel and together deliver greater value to customers.”