India-based Bharti Airtel is collaborating with Meta and Saudi Telecom Company (STC) to connect India with one of the world’s longest subsea cables.

The project aims to strengthen India’s telecommunications infrastructure through 2Africa, one of the world’s longest underwater internet cables.

Airtel and Meta plan to extend the cable to Airtel’s Mumbai landing station. The duo anticipates the project to increase the country’s capacity, assist hyperscalers and enterprises in developing new products and speed up customer connections.

Connecting Africa, Europe and Asia

In September 2021, Meta said that would invest in subsea cables as part of its plan to construct internet infrastructure worldwide. When the extension is completed, 2Africa will span 45,000 kilometres to link three continents (Africa, Europe and Asia).

According to Meta, the cable will deliver three times the combined bandwidth of all subsea cables in Africa. With internet access for only 25 percent of its 1.3 billion inhabitants, Africa is the world’s least-connected continent.

India

Francisco Varela, Meta’s vice president of mobile partnerships, said that subsea cables and open networks play a significant role in the basic infrastructure required to maintain network capacity and drive innovation.

He added that Meta looks forward to continuing its partnership with Airtel to develop India’s infrastructure and provide a better network experience to consumers and companies.

The project is part of a new collaboration between Meta and Airtel to expand India’s digital ecosystem. Airtel plans to incorporate Meta’s WhatsApp into Airtel IQ, its communications platforms as a service (CPaaS) ecosystem.