NATITUA submarine cable system to bridge French Polynesian digital divide

Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), part of Nokia, says it has signed a turnkey agreement with French Polynesia's OPT for the deployment of the NATITUA submarine cable system. The subsea cable system will improve French Polynesian broadband connectivity by linking Tahiti to 10 islands in the Tuamotu and Marquisa archipelagos.

Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), part of Nokia, says it has signed a turnkey agreement with French Polynesia's OPT for the deployment of the NATITUA submarine cable system. The subsea cable system will improve French Polynesian broadband connectivity by linking Tahiti to 10 islands in the Tuamotu and Marquisa archipelagos.

The NATITUA submarine cable system will extend the current HONOTUA undersea cable system, which connects Tahiti to Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea, and Bora Bora on a domestic level, and Tahiti to Hawaii internationally. Spanning 2,500 km, the submarine cable part of the NATITUA project will bridge Tahiti to eight atolls in the archipelago of Tuamotu - Rangiroa, Manihi, Takaroa, Kaukura, Arutua, Fakarava, Makemo, and Hao - and two islands of Marquisas - Hiva Oa and Nuku Hiva. According to the systems house, the submarine cable has a total design capacity of more than 10 Tbps.

"This is a further step for French Polynesia as OPT aims to continue to improve access to information and services that are migrating to digital formats,"said Jean-Francois Martin, OPT president and CEO. "Alcatel Submarine Networks' technology will serve as a base for delivering new applications that will help fuel cultural, economic and social development, as well as broadly extending the benefit of digital economy, for our community."

The global NATITUA project will provide remote islands' end-users access to broadband applications such as telemedicine, e-learning, and on-line tourism programs through the submarine cable system and microwave networks, says ASN.

The deployment will include the 1620 SOFTNODE, which incorporates multiple transmission formats to maximize delivered capacity and minimize cost per bit, and a ROADM branching unit, a part of ASN's product portfolio that includes wavelength selective switch (WSS) technology. ASN also reports that it will be responsible for project management, system design, marine operations, and system commissioning as part of the contract.

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