Reliance Globalcom, the global arm of Reliance
Communicationsis soon to launch ‘HAWK’ – an undersea cable landing facility in
Cyprus, Greece that will seamlessly connect the Mediterranean region to the
rest of the world via Europe and Asia. The cable will connect the Mediterranean
region from its landing station at Cyprus to Europe, at a landing station in
France, according to industry sources.
The initial capacity of the cable system is 100 Gbps, on
the 3,181 km long cable. However, the system has been designed to facilitate a
carrying capacity of up to 2.7 Tbps. Thus, HAWK can cater to even more than
that of the entire Mediterranean region in due course.
While Reliance Globalcom
owns undersea cable system spanning around 65,000 kms, the funding for HAWK is
estimated to be around Rs 650 crore or $ 145 million. The average cost of
laying 1 km of undersea optic cable stands at $ 45,000.
Apart from HAWK, other subsea cables landing in the
Cyprus region are Telecom Egypt, North, LEV and MEDNAUTILUS.
Although there are other cable systems in the
Mediterranean e.g. SeaMeWe4, SeaMeWe3, IMEWE and FEA, the presence of HAWK is
of special importance for the populace of Cyprus as only this cable system
provides them global connectivity on one hand, and diversity for connecting to
With this facility, customers and service providers will
be able to establish the global reach and also leverage the diversity for their
critical services offering for Voice, Video and Data applications.
In January this year, Reliance Globalcom inked a deal
with Ciena for the deployment of a 40G optical solution on a 6,400km cable connecting the
UK, Spain, Italy and Egypt. Looking at increasing bandwidth demands, the
upgraded route added 2.4 terabits per second on a submarine route between
Europe and the Middle East, carrying traffic between the Atlantic and Asia
section of the Reliance Globalcom submarine network.
This news comes a day after rumours suggested that RCom’s
tower business was once more in talks for sale to investors like TPG Capital,
the Carlyle Group, Blackstone Group and Apax Partners. Tata Teleservices
also confirmed Viom’s (a JV between TTSL and the Kanoria family who founded
SREI Infrastructure) interest in the R-Infratel stake, though no talks have
taken place between the two parties yet. At the same time, Etisalat denied Thursday’s rumours that it was in talks for a stake in RCom’s tower
business. RCom has been looking for a buyer of its tower assets for quite a
while now, in order to ease its growing debt burden.
By Beryl M