Tata Comms plans Aussie expansion

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Tata Comms plans Aussie expansion

Regional submarine network giant Tata Communications has revealed plans to broaden its local footprint in partnership with the likes of Telstra and Optus.

The expansion, which will focus on capital cities, is being driven largely by Asian customers seeking expansion outside of Tata's existing presence in Sydney and Melbourne.

Tata Communications' president for India and Asia Pacific, Sunil Joshi, said that existing carrier relationships in Australia were often driven by the carrier seeking transmission interconnections to the Tata global submarine network "or vice versa".

"We're looking at Australia as one of our key markets," Joshi said.

"We work with the top three or four carriers already, including Telstra and Optus, and we're growing our engagement to develop our business with both these key players in the market.

"Leveraging some of the existing carrier relationships we have into partnerships is definitely an area we're spending time on."

Joshi was unable to provide a timeline for the status of partnership discussions at the time of writing, but he said they were still at a "planning" stage.

He also said negotiations on pricing for the necessary backhaul links between capital cities to enable its expansion would be largely left to Tata's existing local presence to negotiate.

"Every geography has its nuances [with respect to backhaul pricing]," Joshi said.

"We work with our local presence and partners [in individual markets] to optimise our access costs so we remain competitive."

It also does not appear Tata will look to consolidate its existing relationships with one local carrier in order to obtain better backhaul pricing to enable its expansion.

Joshi also said that Tata Communications was "looking forward" to the go-live of Pipe International's submarine cable between Sydney and Guam.

Pipe's decision to build the cable in 2006 kicked off with a memorandum of understanding with Tata subsidiary VSNL International, which owns the landing station at Guam.

Joshi said Pipe's attractiveness was as a resilient path rather than potential offers of lower price point for capacity transmission.

He said Tata had a team internally examining the "cost constructs" presented by the launch of the cable.

Tata Communications is part of the US$62.5 billion Tata Group and employs four staff in Australia.

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