Maldives government has signed an agreement with India’s largest 4G and mobile broadband digital service provider Reliance Jio Infocomm for a multi-terabit India Asia Express (IAX) undersea cable system initiative.
According to the agreement, a high capacity and high-speed IAX system will connect Hulhumale’ directly with both India and Singapore, two of the major internet hubs in the Asian continent.
While speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister of Economic Development Mr. Fayyaz Ismail said that this was the first international cable initiative led by the Maldives government.
“This is the first stride towards enhancing our connectivity infrastructure and opening vast opportunities for our people through providing secure, affordable and high-quality services,” he said.
The minister had also addressed the state’s ambition on the Maldives progressing to become a key communications hub in the South Asian region.
At the ceremony, the President of Reliance Jio Mr. Matthew Oommen had spoken about the new initiative stating that IAX will “not only connect Maldives to the world’s content hubs, but it will also support the explosive growth in data demand expected from the new initiatives being launched by the government of Maldives.”
The IAX system originates from Mumbai and connects directly to Singapore with additional landings in India, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Reportedly the high capacity and high-speed system will provide a bandwidth capacity of over 200Tb/s and speeds of 100GB/s over 16,000 kilometers. The network employs open system technology with wavelength switched RoADM/branching units that ensure rapid upgrade deployment and flexibility to add or drop waves across several locations.
To honor the agreement and ensure its sustainability, Maldives has recently created a new legal identity under the name Ocean Connect Maldives Pvt Ltd (OCM) which is a 100% state owned enterprise.
OCM has been established under the Maldives Fund Management Corporation Limited (MFMC) as its sister company and is categorized as an ICT infrastructure company to invest in “physical and digital infrastructure” while promoting digital networks and service inclusivity.