Our Bureau

Mumbai, Dec. 12

RELIANCE Infocomm has entered into an agreement with China Telecommunications Corporation for direct service, including a global hubbing service, to subscribers in India and China.

The agreement will pave the way for the first direct telecom connectivity between Asia's two largest economies, said a news release from Reliance Infocomm. "Currently, there is no direct connectivity and calls between the two countries are routed via the US or Europe. Not only is this expensive, the routing of calls over diverse networks also results in a loss of signal quality," it said.

Through global hubbing, the agreement will enable both the companies to develop their relationships with other telecom carriers and also enhance profitability.

The companies will explore all possible connectivity options between the two countries, seeking to utilise those that are cost-effective and of the highest quality.

"This far-reaching agreement will provide a high-quality, direct connection between the world's two fastest growing economies for the first time," said Mr Leng Rongquan, Vice-President, China Telecom group, a state-owned enterprise.

"This investment will enable India and China to effectively support the enormous increase in international communications traffic into, from and between our two countries. Customers will immediately benefit from better quality connectivity, providing a solid platform for the rollout of advanced communication services," he said.

"The coming together of two of Asia's telecom giants is a historic event that will have a far-reaching effect, not only for the customers of the two countries, but also for both economies," said, Mr B. D. Khurana, Group President of Reliance Infocomm.

Following the agreement, Reliance Infocomm will now route communications traffic directly between India and China on the global network of its sister company, FLAG Telecom.

An interconnection between FLAG and China Telecom's domestic infrastructure has been established at Hong Kong.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 13, 2005)
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