Falcon connects India with Middle East through undersea cable

By Indo Asian News Service | Tuesday, September 05, 2006 | 7:25:55 PM IST (+05:30 GMT) Comment 0 Comment

New Delhi, Sep 5 (IANS) India Tuesday asked Middle East nations like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain to join in its efforts to cut bandwidth costs.

New Delhi, Sep 5 (IANS) India Tuesday asked Middle East nations like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain to join in its efforts to cut bandwidth costs.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Dayanidhi Maran made this appeal while launching an 11,859-km undersea cable system that connects India with the region.

Named Falcon and built at a cost of $400 million, the project is the largest global network in the world with 65,000 route km. It was been launched by Flag Telecom, a subsidiary of Reliance Communications.

The inaugural call was made by Communications and Information Technology Minister Dayanadhi Maran at a function here to his Egyptian counterpart Tarek Kamel.

'The information technology enabled services sector in India with a growth rate of more than 30 percent in the last two years will fuel bandwidth requirements,' Maran told the launch function.

'The initiatives of Reliance and others will provide healthy competition and robust growth,' he said.

'I take this opportunity to propose to all high-level ministers of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt and Bahrain to jointly work towards brining down the prices and landing costs of bandwidth connectivity,' Maran added.

Reliance Communications chairman Anil Ambani said the project was completed four months ahead of schedule. 'Initially we thought we would require $500 million but we were able to complete it with $400 million - that too before time.'

Falcon is a part of FLAG Telecom's global network. With the commissioning of the new cable system, the network has emerged as the largest private submarine cable system in the world spanning 35 countries in four continents.

'This connectivity will open up more opportunities for trade and investment by creating a smaller world and we plan to extend it to US and Europe soon,' Ambani said.

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