OCTOBER 22, 2007 -- Alcatel-Lucent (search for Alcatel-Lucent) has signed a turnkey contract with Orascom Telecom (searchf for Orascom Telecom) to lay the Mediterranean Sea segment of a new 3,850-km submarine cable network, named Middle East North Africa (MENA).
Positioning Egypt as a central hub for traffic transit across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, the new submarine network will provide a vehicle to support the increased broadband communications in the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.
MENA will link Egypt, Italy, and Saudi Arabia, delivering an ultimate capacity of 5.76 Tbits/sec that will greatly increase international and regional connectivity. It is scheduled to be completed by the first quarter of 2009.
Alcatel-Lucent will be responsible for the turnkey rollout of the Egypt-to-Italy segment that will have landing points in Alexandria (Egypt) and Mazara del Vallo, Sicily, in Italy.
"MENA will enable improved international connectivity to support new, high-speed services and brings us an important step closer to delivering the much needed international bandwidth services to the Middle East and Asia through Orascom Telecom's several companies around the world," said Naguib Sawiris, CEO and Chairman of Orascom Telecom.
The Alcatel-Lucent submarine project will be based on its 1620 Light Manager DWDM submarine platform, and will also include cable and submarine repeaters and branching units, providing direct connectivity to landing stations. A suite of professional services, including permitting and project management, engineering, marine operation, and installation testing and commissioning, is part of this turnkey project.