FEBRUARY 12, 2008 -- Alcatel-Lucent (search for Alcatel-Lucent) has signed a turnkey contract with a consortium composed of nine operators to deploy a new submarine cable network linking Mumbai in India to Marseilles in France, over approximately 13,000 km. Named India-Middle East-Western Europe (IMEWE), this new submarine cable network will be designed to meet the need for enhanced, backhaul communications capabilities along the India-Western Europe route, as well as for increased capacity to support high-bandwidth broadband services. As part of IMEWE, a terrestrial link will also be deployed in Egypt to connect the cities of Alexandria and Suez.
The nine parties that form the consortium include Bharti, Etisalat, France Telecom, Ogero Telecom, PTCL, STC, Telecom Egypt, Telecom Italia Sparkle, and VSNL. Completion is scheduled for the last quarter of 2009.
With an minimum design capacity of 3.84 Tbits/sec -- 128 x 10 Gbits/sec on three fiber pairs -- IMEWE will be composed of two trunk cables connecting India to France via Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, and Italy. Along the route, this cable network will have 10 landing points located in Mumbai (two), Karachi, Fujairah, Jeddah, Suez, Alexandria, Tripoli, Catania, and Marseilles. Alcatel-Lucent will build the turnkey system with the support of its subcontractor NEC, which will provide and install the wet plant from Mumbai to Jeddah.
"IMEWE reflects the need for enhanced capacity, connectivity and diversity to best meet the end-users' demands," said Mr. K.P. Tiwari, chairman of the consortium's management committee. "With its field-proven experience in network deployment and project management, Alcatel-Lucent is a trusted partner to facilitate regional and international connectivity."
The Alcatel-Lucent will provide its 1620 Light Manager DWDM submarine platform as well as cables, repeaters, and branching units, and its optical crossconnect system for the landing stations. The terrestrial link in Egypt will be based on the Alcatel-Lucent 1626 Light Manager multi-reach DWDM system. A suite of professional services, including permitting and project management, engineering, marine operation, and installation testing and commissioning, is part of this turnkey project.