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    Bharti Airtel participates in a consortium with international companies to build Unity Cable System linking Asia and US
    10,000 Km linear cable system with capacity upto 7.68 Tbps to enhance Trans-Pacific connectivity

    New Delhi, February 26, 2008: Bharti Airtel, India’s leading telecom services provider, along with five leading international companies has executed an agreement to build a high-bandwidth undersea fiber-optic cable linking Asia and the United States. The construction of the new cable system, known as Unity, will cost an estimated US$ 300 million and will address broadband demand by providing much needed capacity to sustain the unprecedented growth in data and Internet traffic between Asia and the United States.

    The Unity consortium is a joint effort by Bharti Airtel (India), Global Transit Ltd. (Malaysia), Google (US), KDDI Corporation (Japan), Pacnet (Singapore) and SingTel (Singapore). The name Unity was chosen to signify a new type of consortium, born out of potentially competing systems, to emerge as a system within a system, offering ownership and management of individual fiber pairs.

    Mr. David Nishball, President, Airtel Enterprise Services said, “The partnership in the Unity consortium is yet another important step in our journey towards meeting our customer’s complete global communication needs. This investment is in line with our strategy to extend our international footprint across the globe to provide seamless connectivity to our customers through partnerships with leading global companies. The Unity cable system will address the demand for increased bandwidth between Asia and US as more and more services migrate to an online environment. This partnership will also provide alternate routes to meet the demands of our customers for increased levels of network resiliency and redundancy.”

    The Unity consortium has selected NEC Corporation and Tyco Telecommunications to construct and install the system. Construction will begin immediately, with initial capacity targeted to be available in the first quarter of 2010. 

    The Unity cable system will provide connectivity between Chikura, located off the coast near Tokyo, to Los Angeles and other West Coast network points of presence. At Chikura, Unity will be seamlessly connected to other cable systems, further enhancing connectivity into Asia. The Unity cable system will initially increase Trans-Pacific lit cable capacity by about 20 percent, with the potential to add up to 7.68 Terabits per second (Tb/s) of bandwidth across the Pacific.

    The Unity cable system will compliment Bharti Airtel’s existing high bandwidth cable systems in the region. The company has two international landing stations in Chennai that connects two submarine cable systems - i2i to Singapore and SEA-ME-WE-4 to Singapore and Europe. The company has also recently undertaken a series of initiatives to extend its international footprint and has partnered the Asia America Gateway cable system to provide the much-needed diversity against traditional routes to the US, mainly carrying broadband traffic. Earlier this month, it announced the IMEWE cable - a high-capacity fiber-optic submarine cable that stretches from India to France via the Middle East.

    About Bharti Airtel Limited:

    Bharti Airtel Limited, a group company of Bharti Enterprises, is India’s leading integrated telecom services provider with an aggregate of 60 million customers. Bharti Airtel has been rated among the best performing companies in the world in the BusinessWeek IT 100 list 2007.

    Bharti Airtel is structured into three strategic business units - Mobile services, Telemedia services and Enterprise services. The mobile business provides mobile & fixed wireless services using GSM technology across 23 telecom circles. The Telemedia business provides broadband & telephone services in 94 cities. The Enterprise services provide end-to-end telecom solutions to corporate customers and national & international long distance services to carriers. All these services are provided under the Airtel brand. Airtel’s high-speed optic fibre network currently spans over 67,000 kms covering all the major cities in the country. The company has two international landing stations in Chennai that connects two submarine cable systems - i2i to Singapore and SEA-ME-WE-4 to Europe. For more information, visit www.bhartiairtel.in