• United States

MCI triples IP capacity in India, Middle East

Jan 18, 20064 mins

* MCI is delivering traffic over the latest South East Asia, Middle East and Western Europe submarine cable

MCI recently began sending traffic over a new submarine network cable system that triples its IP network capacity in some of its fastest growing markets, including India, the Middle East and Europe.

MCI announced in December that it was delivering traffic over the latest South East Asia, Middle East and Western Europe (SEA-ME-WE) submarine cable, which was built by a group of 16 carriers. MCI is the only US-based service provider to invest in the SEA-ME-WE4 cable.

SEA-ME-WE4 links Marseilles, France to Singapore via the Middle East and India. The cable system provides connectivity to Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, France, India, Italy, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

“This system more than triples our capacity for India, the Middle East and Asia,” says Ihab Tarazi, vice president of MCI International Network Engineering. “That’s a major improvement for getting traffic to India, getting traffic to the Middle East and connecting directly between Europe and Asia.”

All of MCI’s multinational customers are already taking advantage of the additional bandwidth, reliability and performance of the SEA-ME-WE4 cable.

“This system allows us to handle growth and improve our quality of service,” Tarazi says. “It offers bigger pipes, more capacity, lower latency and higher reliability because we have more diverse options. We also have faster implementation times because we are the landing party in France and we own the cable system itself. Now we can activate on-net connectivity from the U.S. to Europe all the way through to Southeast Asia.”

The SEA-ME-WE4 cable has initial capacity of 160Gbps. MCI’s share of that capacity is 10Gbps.

MCI estimates that the new cable, which uses France rather than the United Kingdom as its European access point, will result in a 10% improvement in latency to its European customers.

“SEA-ME-WE4 lands directly in Southern France, so it improves our latency instead of going all the way around Spain to the U.K.,” Tarazi says. “It will provide lower latency to Italy, France and Germany. And at the same time, it gives us survivability away from the U.K. in case there were a terrorist attack in London.”

MCI officials say SEA-ME-WE4 is a cost-effective way to reach India, where IP capacity has been limited until now.

“Capacity from Europe to India was very limited on other systems. So there was pent-up demand and nothing was available,” Tarazi explains. “This system is critical for meeting that need. It wasn’t just us; nobody had sufficient diverse options from India to the U.K.”

MCI announced in 2003 that it was investing in the SEA-ME-WE4 cable system. MCI will not say how much money it has invested in the cable or new infrastructure in France and Singapore that link this cable to MCI’s global IP network.

MCI uses two other submarine cable systems called SEA-ME-WE3 and FLAG to support Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe. MCI continues to use all three cable systems to carry traffic overseas.

“SEA-ME-WE4 will supplement these two systems, and it gives us a couple of benefits. It’s a wholly owned system so it gives us the ability to back-up the other cables,” Tarazi says. “We had an earthquake in Algeria that took out both systems at the same time. This third system is a helpful way to add diversity and backup in the case of an outage.”

Indeed, the existence of SEA-ME-WE4 helped minimize a recent outage of SEA-ME-WE3.

“Our global customers are all feeling the advantage of this system already,” Tarazi says. “There was a SEA-ME-WE3 outage a few weeks ago, and all of our customers immediately benefited from SEA-ME-WE4.”

MCI’s announces global IP network expansion

To read more about the SEA-ME-WE4 Submarine Cable System, click here.