Reliance Communications has announced significant plans to expand its arm, FLAG Telecom’s, global optic fibre network. Over the next 36 months, FLAG Telecom will build the world’s largest IP network over submarine cable systems. Termed Flag Next Generation Network (NGN), the project will cater to the fast-growing telecom needs of over five billion customers across the globe (that is, five out of six people in the world).
An official communiqué quoting Anil Dhirubhai Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Communications, said, “We live in a world where there is too much of bandwidth for some, little for others and none for many – there is unequal access to bandwidth in and across countries, continents and communities.”
“FLAG NGN will democratise digital access and give nearly everyone in the world the opportunity to be part of a massive lifestyle change which might have surprised even a visionary as big as Dhirubhai,” he added.
FLAG Telecom Ltd, currently the world’s largest private undersea cable system, would invest nearly Rs 7,000 crore over the next three years in laying 50,000 additional kilometre of undersea optic fibre cable, which would ultimately cover 60 countries, contributing 90 per cent of the global GDP. On completion, FLAG Global Network would span over 115,000 km by December 2009, taking the total optic fibre assets of Reliance Communications Group to over 230,000 km.
Dedicating the world’s largest IP network in the memory of his father, Ambani said, “Dhirubhai dreamt of a world without borders and man-made limits – a global village where everyone, but most of all every Indian, would have the chance to communicate and connect, compete and collaborate. FLAG NGN will help realise that dream.”
FLAG Telecom, a Reliance Infocomm company, has an established customer base of more than 180 leading operators, including all of the top 10 international carriers. FLAG owns and manages an extensive optical fibre network spanning four continents and connecting key business markets in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the US. In the first international acquisition by the Reliance Group, FLAG Telecom became a Reliance Infocomm company on January 12, 2004.