Bharti Airtel said on Monday it will partner with Facebook-parent Meta to jointly invest in global connectivity infrastructure that will extend a subsea cable system called 2Africa Pearls to India.
Meta Platforms Inc., as the company is formally known, last year announced a new segment of 2Africa Pearls in collaboration with partners. When it was launched in 2020, the 37,000-km long subsea cable connected 23 countries. It has become one of the world’s longest subsea cable systems and aims to provide faster internet to almost 3 billion people by connecting Africa, Europe, and Asia.
Airtel, Meta and Saudi Telecommunication Company will work together to extend 2Africa Pearls to Airtel’s landing station in Mumbai. “The 2Africa cable will significantly boost India’s cable capacity and empower global hyper-scalers and businesses to build new integrated solutions and provide a high-quality seamless experience to customers,” said Airtel in a press release. (What is STC?)
The extended 2Africa Pearls branch will include landing locations in Oman, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan, India, and Saudi Arabia.
“Subsea cables and open, disaggregated networks continue to play a huge role in the foundational infrastructure needed to support network capacity and fuel innovation. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Airtel to further advance the region’s connectivity infrastructure that will enable a better network experience for people and businesses across India,” said Francisco Varela, vice president of mobile partnerships for Meta.
Airtel will integrate Meta’s WhatsApp within its Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) platform. Businesses will now be able to use WhatsApp’s features and reach to provide customer engagement to enterprises.
“We, at Airtel, are delighted to deepen our partnership with Meta to serve India’s digitally connected economy by leveraging the technology and infrastructure strengths of both companies. With our contributions to the 2Africa cable and Open RAN, we are investing in crucial and progressive connectivity infrastructure which is needed to support the increasing demand for high-speed data in India,” said Vani Venkatesh, chief executive officer of Global Business, Bharti Airtel.