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New Delhi : Bharti Airtel Ltd and Meta Platforms Inc. will jointly invest in extending the Facebook parent’s subsea cable infrastructure to India and integrate WhatsApp as a communications platform as a service (CPaaS) in the Indian telecom operator’s offering to enterprises.

Airtel will partner with Meta and Saudi Telecom to extend 2Africa Pearls, the subsea cable set up by Meta that connects Africa, Europe and Asia, to India, Bharti and Meta said in a joint statement on Monday.

2Africa is the world’s longest subsea cable system and is expected to provide faster internet connectivity to almost 3 billion people globally. Airtel and Meta will extend the cable to Airtel’s landing station in Mumbai and also pick up the dedicated capacity to further strengthen its submarine network portfolio, the companies said. The likely investment in the venture wasn’t disclosed.

The 2Africa cable will significantly expand India’s cable capacity and empower global hyper-scalers and businesses to build new integrated solutions and offer a high-quality seamless experience to users. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Airtel to further advance the region’s connectivity infrastructure that will enable a better network experience for people and businesses across India," said Francisco Varela, vice president of mobile partnerships at Meta. Airtel will also share its learnings with Telecom Infra Project Open RAN project group community partners, including Meta, to help accelerate the deployment of Open RAN-based networks globally.

Airtel will also integrate Meta’s WhatsApp within its CPaaS platform, allowing businesses or enterprises using Airtel’s CPaas platform, Airtel IQ to, in turn, use WhatsApp features and reach to offer an omnichannel customer engagement solution.

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