FALCON subsea system to land on Africa's east coast

November 17, 2005 Khartoum, Sudan and London, UK -- Canar Telecommunication, Sudan's nationwide fixed line operator, has made a strategic multi-million dollar investment in FLAG Telecom's FALCON submarine cable system. Following an official signing ceremony during the ITU World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis, Canar will now provide East Africa's first landing station for the terabit/sec system at Port Sudan.

Nov 17th, 2005

November 17, 2005 Khartoum, Sudan and London, UK -- Canar Telecommunication, Sudan's nationwide fixed line operator, has made a strategic multi-million dollar investment in FLAG Telecom's FALCON submarine cable system. Following an official signing ceremony during the ITU World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis, Canar will now provide East Africa's first landing station for the terabit/sec system at Port Sudan.

Canar has also purchased capacity on the system's fiber-optic cable. According to a press release, today's signing follows similar agreements with leading telecommunications operators in Bahrain, Egypt, India, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Qatar.

FALCON will be the first terabit/sec cable system to land in Sudan. Canar expects the system to quickly become a strategic asset of the country, enabling the provider to enhance the level and quality of services it is able to offer customers, and to provide the infrastructure to meet increasing demand for roll-out of broadband services and E-commerce applications.

"Today's signing demonstrates Canar's on-going commitment to delivering high quality, advanced communication services to Sudan. FALCON will provide the international infrastructure needed for Sudan to leap several generations of technology and deliver a true 21st century network for our country and our customers," comments Saood Al Juneibi, managing director of Canar. "Port Sudan will be the first East Africa landing for this key regional asset, which will provide high-availability connectivity between Sudan and the key business centers and Internet Exchanges around the world."

According to FLAG Telecom, FALCON, a high-capacity resilient loop cable system, is being installed to provide multiple landings throughout the Gulf region, with submarine links stretching from the Middle East to Egypt in the west and, initially, to India in the east. Across India the system will interconnect with India's domestic networks, including the 80,000 km high-speed domestic infrastructure of telecom provider Reliance Infocomm, allowing customers to access major cities and towns. The system will also interconnect with the existing FLAG Global Network, allowing customers access to key business centers around the globe.

"We are delighted to welcome Canar as a landing partner and key customer on the system. FLAG is committed to meeting the global communications needs of its partners in the region and the formal signing of these agreements marks a milestone in our relationship with Canar," remarks Walid Irshaid, president of FLAG Telecom's Middle East and Africa operations. "FALCON is designed to unlock the broadband opportunity in a region previously underserved by international connectivity, bringing a many-fold increase in capacity over existing regional links. It will enable Canar to roll out advanced communication services with very high levels of network reliability."

The FALCON network is being built by Alcatel Submarine Networks. The systems is being installed in simultaneous sections using several submarine cable laying ships; initial service is set to commence by December 2005.

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