UAE-based mobile operator Du and its consortium partners have partially activated its Europe India Gateway (EIG) submarine cable. The cable is now ready to provide high-bandwidth fibre-optic connectivity to the region.

Du has invested $50m in setting up the cable. “The launch of the EIG is significant for the UAE as it builds towards the country becoming a centre-point for connectivity in the region,” says Farid Faraidooni, Du chief commercial officer.

The 16-member consortium has invested a total of $700m in the system. Members include India’s Bharti Airtel, British Telecom, Libyan Post Telecom & Information Technology Company, South Africa’s MTN Group, Omantel, Saudi Telecom Company and Telecom Egypt.

When fully activated, it will be the first direct high-bandwidth optical fibre system from the UK to India. It carries 3.84 terabits of data per second.

Landing sites include Portugal, Gibraltar, Monaco, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Oman. Egypt has two landing sites that have yet to be activated.