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Jio’s Undersea Cable Projects Get Nod from Environment Ministry’s Expert Committee

Reliance Jio Infocomm logo

Union Environment Ministry’s Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) has recommended Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.’s (Jio) India-Asia-Xpress (IAX) and India-Europe-Xpress (IEX) undersea cable projects for approval.

Jio’s Submarine Cable Projects get Green Signal from EAC

In a meeting dated 2nd November 2022, Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change’s (MoEFCC) EAC stated that Jio’s IAX and IEX projects are important for India’s connectivity with other parts of Asia and with Europe respectively.

Therefore, the EAC has recommended these projects for Coastal Regulation Zone approval. Any development which is on coastal land between Low-Tide Line (LTL) and High-Tide Line (HTL) and up to 500 metre towards land from the HTL needs CRZ approval.

For IAX, the total length of the project in the CRZ has been stated as 330.95 Km, while for IEX the total length of the project in CRZ is 351.27 Km.

IAX & IEX Undersea Cable Systems One of the Largest Globally

RIL’s IAX and IEX subsea cable systems, once complete, together will span over 16,000 Km and will enable high-speed data transfer. Out of this, the IAX cable system alone is about 8,100 Km long.

These systems will be able to transmit data volumes of up to 200 Tb/s at a speed of around 100 Gb/s.

Reliance awarded supply contract for the IAX and IEX projects to the US-based undersea cable supplier, SubCom, LLC.

Mumbai-Centred IAX & IEX To Connect India to East Asia and Europe

Reliance Jio IAX IEX Map
Reliance Jio’s IAX and IEX Undersea Cable Systems. Source: Jio Media Release, 17th May 2021

RIL’s IAX and IEX cable systems will be centred in Mumbai. While IAX will connect India to other Asian countries, IEX will extend westwards to Europe.

IAX, officially known as the Myanmar/Malaysia-India-Singapore Transit (MIST) Submarine Cable System, will comprise a total of 12 cable landings in 5 countries.

The main trunk of this system will run between Silver Beach, Mumbai and Tuas, an industrial region in South-west Singapore. This trunk will then branch and connect Chennai, Matara in Sri Lanka, Satun in Thailand and Morib in Malaysia.

IEX on the other hand will start from Mumbai’s Versova beach and will connect to Italy through landings in Oman, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and then through the Mediterranean Sea. The IEX will culminate at Savona in Italy, and it will have additional landings in Greece and France.

IAX is expected to be ready by the end of 2023, while IEX is anticipated to be functional by mid-2024.

The IAX and IEX together will be connected to the Reliance Jio Global Fibre Network, which is connected to the east and west coasts of the United States.

Jio’s Undersea Cable Projects to Support India’s Digital Growth

As per a press release dated 17th May 2021, Mr. Mathew Oommen, President, of Reliance Jio said, “To meet the demands of Streaming Video, Remote Workforce, 5G, IoT, and beyond, Jio is taking a leadership role in the construction of the first of its kind, India-centric IAX and IEX subsea systems”.

The company has stated that together IAX and IEX form the world’s largest submarine cable system to be centred in India.

“The systems will seamlessly interconnect as well as connect to the world’s top interexchange points and content hubs for extension of service globally. IAX and IEX will enhance the ability for consumer and enterprise users to access content and cloud services in and out of India”, Jio stated.

About Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.: Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., popularly known as Jio, is Reliance Industry Ltd.’s (RIL) telecom subsidiary. Mumbai-headquartered Jio reported a revenue of Rs. 95,804 crore for the 2021-22 financial year.