JANUARY 31, 2008 -- Telecom Egypt (TE), the incumbent telecom operator in Egypt, and Alcatel-Lucent (search for Alcatel-Lucent) today announced they have signed a $125 million contract to deploy a new submarine cable network linking Sidi Kerir in Egypt to Marseille in France. Named TE North, the project will enable Telecom Egypt to expand international connectivity, providing diversity from existing cable routes. Additionally, Telecom Egypt says the TE North submarine cable system will help it enhance its network capacity to operate as a wholesale carrier to other operators and expand its service offering to businesses and consumers.
Spanning 3,100 km, TE North can deliver an ultimate capacity of 128 x 10 Gbits/sec on eight fiber pairs, which makes it one of the largest cable systems in the region, say TE representatives. As a result, Telecom Egypt says it will be able to meet the growing demand for broadband services of its business and residential users at more affordable costs. Moreover, it will further establish Egypt's role as an international communication hub between Europe and Asia/Africa, and it will also reinforce the city of Marseille as a communications hub with 'open access' facilities, say representatives of both companies.
"Egypt has a young population with a growing demand for more and more capacity," notes Akil Beshir, chairman and CEO of Telecom Egypt. "In addition, Telecom Egypt has [a] decades' long tradition of being the partner of choice to all Asia-Europe submarine cable systems by providing the infrastructure for crossing from [the] Red to Mediterranean Seas. Today, through TE North, we extend the Telecom Egypt service footprint by offering an option to extend this infrastructure from the Red Sea to Europe," he reports. "Alcatel-Lucent's turnkey expertise and technological lead in submarine networks shall help us achieve our project and business objectives on time."
"Access to advanced technologies is key to operators like Telecom Egypt to best serve their customers," adds Georges Krebs, COO of Alcatel-Lucent's submarine network activity. "By meeting the requirements of communications infrastructures in terms of capacity, flexibility, and scalability, Alcatel-Lucent helps Telecom Egypt respond to the ramping demand for innovative applications."
The Alcatel-Lucent submarine system will be based on its 1620 Light Manager next-generation DWDM submarine platform and will also include cable, branching units, and submarine repeaters, providing direct connectivity to landing stations. Alcatel-Lucent says a comprehensive suite of professional services, including permitting and project management, engineering, marine operation, and installation testing and commissioning is part of this turnkey project.