What are some mind blowing facts about TATA?

Answer by Kshitij Salgunan:

This may come as a surprise, but more than 24% of the internet's traffic goes through TATA's cables! TATA communications is one among the few global tier-1 Internet service providers in the world. Tier-1 means that they have enough cables to connect the world that they don't need to pay anyone any fee to access any destination on internet! They are the only tier-1 ISP from India and claims to have the world's largest global network.  [1]
TATA provides internet to the tier-2 companies which sells internet to normal tier-3 internet service providers from whom we buy our broad band connections. Companies like BSNL, MTNL etc buy bandwidth from Tata.
They wholly own the low latency fiber optic cable which connects eight of the word's most important trading platforms : London, Paris, New York, Chicago, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Mumbai. This is the first time such a global network is being build exclusively for trading. It is the orange cable in the map below. You can see that it is laid in a snake like pattern over Russia. This is to increase the redundancy of the network, if one cable gets damaged at some point, then the network can still remain live through the other cable.  [2]
Source: Tata Communications (It is an interactive map showing their and their partner's cables)
They have build a network of more than 500,000 KMs of submarine fibre optic cables and 210,000 KMs of terrestrial cables reaching more than 240 countries. Just for a reference, circumference of the equator of Earth is 40,075KM.
One out of every 10 international voice calls goes through their cables. 70% of the mobile carriers in the world are connected to their network.
Even today, less than 1% traffic(voice, internet, everything) goes through satellites, the remaining 99% still relies on the cable system. The internet which you use in your phone connects to the cell tower and then the cell tower is typically connected to an ISP through fiber optic cable under the tower.   [3]
Their cables in India
They have cable landing stations in Mumbai, Kochi and Chennai. These are the places at which the international underwater cables reaches India. These are high quality fiber optic cables capable of over 1TB per second.  [4]
Tata communications have so much bandwidth in their Indian landing stations that they have not even turned on some of their cables connecting India. Only about 60% of the cables are in use, the remaining cables are called 'dark fiber'. It is planned to be turned on in the future when demand for internet speed/bandwidth increases!
Image: Their cable crosses Pakistan's land borders to reach Jammu.
Internet costs are generally higher in northern parts of India because they are far away from international landing stations. The latency while accessing international sites is also higher in northern parts of India due to the same reason. (high latency in simple words means slower response time in internet)
Large ships specifically build for this purpose are used to lay the underwater cables. It is usually accompanied by an underwater rover which places the cable on the seabed. It can take years and 1000s of crores worth of investment to complete an international network. Such projects are usually undertaken together by multiple companies and governments.
Tata communications was originally started as VSNL by government of India and was acquired by Tata in 2002- a time when internet and telecommunication was starting to grow in India. They further acquired a Canadian network company Teleglobe in 2005 for $238 Million dollars.
Since, currently most web-servers are located outside the physical boundaries of India, large international bandwidth is used by us to use internet. We should make an effort to make India an ideal location for companies to start their data centers. Currently, all major companies interested in south Asian market are establishing their data centers in Singapore.
Few years ago, the most valuable building of a city was the bank, but now the most valuable buildings are the data centers.
Final thought:- TATA is in every goddamn business 😛
I just wrote another answer discussing about other key players in Indian Network industry. It is a 'must read' if you liked this answer :- Kshitij Salgunan's answer to How is India connected to the internet?

[1] Tier 1 network

[2] Tata Communications

[3] At a Glance

[4] Submarine Cable Networks

What are some mind blowing facts about TATA?


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