Reliance Jio signs submarine cable agreement with Maldives

The Maldives has signed a deal with India's Reliance Jio to lay the country's first government-sponsored submarine cable.

The 'Maldives-IAX subsea cable' agreement was signed between Maldives Fund Management Corporation (MFMC)'s subsidiary company Ocean Connect Maldives and Reliance Jio in a ceremony held on Monday. The agreement was signed on behalf of Ocean Connect Maldives by its Chairperson Riyaz Mansoor and Reliance Jio's President and Board member Matthew Oommen.

Speaking at the ceremony, Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail said laying the Maldives-IAX subsea sable is an essential step under the government's efforts to expand the country's economy. The project would ensure speedy internet services across the Maldives, he said.

Jio's President Matthew Oommen said the company would work together with the Maldivian government to develop digital technology in the Maldives. He said the Maldives-IAX cable would connect the Maldives with other countries in the region.

The subsea cable would eliminate the dependency on third-party hubs in connecting the Maldives to neighboring countries. The Economic Ministry said the cable would allow internet service providers in the Maldives to provide more affordable internet services.

OCean Connect said the IAX system is expected to be ready by the end of 2023, and ready for service by mid-2024.