Alcatel-Lucent to build Atlantic-Mediterranean segment of EIG subsea network

JULY 31, 2008 -- Alcatel-Lucent has signed a contract to deploy the Atlantic-Mediterranean segment of the 15,000-km (9,000-mile) Europe India Gateway (EIG) submarine cable system.

JULY 31, 2008 -- Alcatel-Lucent (search for Alcatel-Lucent) has signed a contract to deploy the Atlantic-Mediterranean segment of the 15,000-km (9,000-mile) Europe India Gateway (EIG) submarine cable system.

According to Alcatel-Lucent representatives, EIG is the first direct, high-bandwidth optical fiber submarine cable system from the United Kingdom to India, and it will significantly enhance capacity and diversity between the countries and territories of three continents. With completion scheduled in the second quarter of 2010, EIG will deliver an ultimate capacity of up to 3.84 Tbits/sec to provide upgradeable transmission facilities that support Internet, e-commerce, video, data, and voice services.

EIG was announced in May 2008 in London by the EIG Consortium. Currently, EIG Consortium members include AT&T; Bharti Airtel; BT; C&W; Djibouti Telecom; du; Gibtelecom; Libyan Post, Telecom, and Information Technology Company (LPTIC); MTN Group Ltd; Omantel; PT Comunicacoes, S.A.; Saudi Telecom Company; Telecom Egypt; Telkom SA Ltd.; and Verizon Business.

Alcatel-Lucent is one of two submarine cable network suppliers for the project, which has a total value of over $700 million.

EIG will connect three continents, with landings planned in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Gibraltar, Monaco, France, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Oman, United Arab Emirates, and India. Providing much needed diversity for broadband traffic currently relying largely on traditional routes from Europe to India, EIG will also provide seamless interconnection with other major cable systems connecting Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America.

Alcatel-Lucent says it will provide complete turnkey work for its portion of the EIG system. Alcatel-Lucent will have responsibility for the design, manufacture, installation, and commissioning of the Atlantic-Mediterranean submarine segment, which spans 7,100 km. The company confirms it will use the 1678 Metro Core Connect and deploy its latest generationI1626 Light Manager DWDM transmission equipment to provide seamless connectivity across the two terrestrial links in the UK and Egypt at 40 Gbits/sec.

"EIG utilizes the most advanced submarine cable system technology to provide a high-quality solution to help meet the continued growth of broadband adoption rates around the world," reports John Russell, chairman of the EIG Consortium Management Committee. "Alcatel-Lucent's turnkey expertise and technological lead in the build of submarine networks will help us deliver a highly flexible and scalable infrastructure that will support the delivery of innovative applications across the regions."

"EIG further confirms the need for cable route diversity and enhanced capacity to meet end-users' demands for bandwidth to support broadband traffic," adds Etienne Lafougere, president of Alcatel-Lucent's submarine network activity. "This new contract is recognition of the reliability of our submarine, terrestrial, and network solutions, as well as of our end-to-end ability to provide every part of a global transport network."

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