IMEWE cable launches its commercial operation


The IMEWE (India- Middle East- Western Europe) submarine cable, which connects India to Italy and France via the Middle East, has been opened for business.

The 13,000km long three-pair fibre-optic cable, which has landing stations in Pakistan, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Lebanon, has a design capacity of 3.84Tbps, and is the third such submarine cable operational between India and Europe after SMW3 and SMW4.

The construction of the submarine link was funded by a consortium of nine operators – Bharti Airtel (India), Etisalat (UAE), France Telecom, Ogero (Lebanon), Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited, Saudi Telecom Company (Saudi Arabia), Telecom Egypt, Telecom Italia Sparkle (Italy), and Tata Communications (India).

Commenting on the launch of the cable, Ajay Chitkara, CEO of Bharti Airtel’s global data business, noted: ‘The commencement of [the] IMEWE cable system will significantly enhance the connectivity from Asia to Western Europe and Middle East by offering high speed and diverse connectivity.’

Meanwhile, Paolo Ferrari, TI Sparkle CEO said of the development: ‘With the coming into operations of IMEWE, TI Sparkle will be able to reinforce its proposition of top quality services in the Mediterranean as IMEWE has a diversified landing in Catania, Sicily, versus SMW4 landing in Palermo. The two points of presence (POPs) of Catania and Palermo are connected through a state-of-the-art fibre network in ring configuration, providing full resiliency in case of cable faults.’


IMEWE submarine cable consortium, announced last weekend that it will postpone its launch in Lebanon due to conflict between Telecommunications Minister Charbel Nahhas and Ogero, the company responsible for the construction and maintenance of the cable.

An-Nahar newspaper reported last Monday that Nahhas had sent a letter to the IMEWE consortium to inform them of the ministry’s decision to deprive Ogero of its prerogatives on the IMEWE project which was due to launch in Lebanon on December 13. Ogero’s responsibilities included holding the launching event.