Airtel partners with Meta to develop undersea cable infra for high-speed internet

Bharti Airtel has partnered with Facebook parent Meta to develop undersea cable infrastructure which will support high-speed internet in the country and boost data-carrying capacities between geographies. The two companies, along with Saudi Telecommunication Company, will bring the world’s longest subsea cable system 2Africa Pearls to India, at Airtel’s landing station in Mumbai.

Subsea cable infrastructure is essential to connect the world digitally as without this, data flows between countries over the internet will not be possible.

In 2020, Meta (then called Facebook) had announced investments in building internet infrastructure in Africa through the 2Africa subsea cable. The cable system was later extended to connect 33 countries across Africa, Europe, and Asia, under 2Africa Pearls.

“The 2Africa cable will significantly boost India’s cable capacity and empower global hyper-scalers (that operate data centres) and businesses to build new integrated solutions and provide a high-quality seamless experience to customers,” Airtel said in a release.

Airtel and Meta have also collaborated on Open RAN (radio access network) technologies. The company is conducting trials for 4G and 5G Open RAN solutions on select sites in Haryana and will start deploying the solutions commercially over the next few quarters.