Bharti Airtel, India's largest telecommunications service provider, and Gulf Bridge International (GBI), a global cloud provider for the Middle-East and Europe, announced a strategic agreement to unlock the capacity on GBI's India-Middle East-Europe submarine cable system.
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. 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.
With this new investment, Airtel has further consolidated its leading position as a global capacity provider. 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.
"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.
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.
"The agreement offers great synergies to Airtel and GBI as both partners will be able to build on each other's strengths in their respective markets," Chitkara added. "This will also complement Airtel's existing global network spanning 250,000 Rkms 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."
GBI is a multilayer terrestrial and subsea cable meshed network that bridges the East to the West through the Middle East, empowers businesses, connects societies and contributes to the region's transformation towards knowledge-based economies.
Its agility, business innovation and diverse portfolio of services make it a partner for carriers, ISPs, governments, and the smart living ecosystem. It is a carrier's carrier and an enterprise global managed services provider dedicated to turning the region into a global connectivity hub.
"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," said Abdulla Al Rwaili, executive vice chairman and managing director, GBI. "In line with this objective, today, we are excited to onboard Airtel and together deliver greater value to customers."