Alcatel-Lucent to upgrade EASSy submarine cable system along Africa’s eastern and southern coast
Upgrade to 10,000km subsea system linking South Africa to Sudan will further boost ultra-broadband capacity and strengthen onward connectivity between eastern & southern Africa and Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Paris, January 22, 2014 — Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is to upgrade the EASSy submarine cable system, one of the largest and most modern systems serving Africa, with the deployment of the latest 100 gigabit-per-second (Gbit/s) technology.
Alcatel-Lucent‘s 100G technology will enable the system to ultimately carry capacity in excess of 10Tbit/s, further complementing its ability to carry high volumes of data capacity on the EASSy system, which runs 10,000km from South Africa to Sudan, in support of the continued explosion of data traffic in Africa. Alcatel-Lucent will leverage its unmatched experience of deployments around Africa to provide this upgrade within EASSy’s requested timeframe.
EASSy is owned and operated by a group of 17 African and international shareholders - all telecommunications operators and service providers. The system is implemented in a protected ring configuration linking eight countries from Sudan to South Africa, via Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Comores and Mozambique. Landings are located in Port Sudan, Djibouti (Djibouti), Mombasa (Kenya), Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), Moroni (Comores), Toliary (Madagascar), Maputo (Mozambique) and Mtunzini (South Africa). The system also addresses a wide range of international destinations through interconnection with multiple international submarine cable networks for diverse, seamless onward connectivity to Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia.
Chris Wood, Chairman of the EASSy Management Committee said: “Since EASSy entered service in 2010, we have seen enormous growth in demand for capacity on the system, reflecting the service quality and reliability that we have been able to offer. This upgrade will add an additional 400Gbps of capacity throughout the system, using Alcatel-Lucent’s advanced coherent 100Gbit/s technology, and enables us to take a further step in offering our customers the ultra-broadband capacity needed for innovative services and applications.”
Philippe Dumont, President of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, said: “We are pleased to continue our cooperation with EASSy owners following the initial deployment and subsequent upgrades to higher speeds. With staged upgrades until now, this latest upgrade using our 100Gbit/s technology confirms Alcatel-Lucent as the leading innovation partner to address evolving connectivity needs over time whilst meeting the low-latency and the resilience requirements that our customers demand.”
EASSy Announces System Upgrade
Mr Chris Wood, CEO of WIOCC and Co-Chair of the EASSy Management Committee, today announces on behalf of the EASSy submarine fibre-optic cable Management Committee that the EASSy system will be upgraded in 2011, more than doubling the current available capacity on the system.
Following an extremely successful initial four months of operation, during which the system has enjoyed 100% network reliability, EASSy has taken the decision to increase its “lit capacity” utilising the latest 40Gbps wavelength technology. “The decision was taken to upgrade the system following a review of the rate at which we are activating capacity. By utilising 40Gbps wavelengths, the EASSy system will be able to continue to offer the most cost-effective and reliable solution to customers in East and southern Africa,” said Mr C. Seenevassen of Mauritius Telecom.
More than 25 telecommunications operators mainly from Africa, along with a number of global operators who invested in EASSy, have activated capacity on the system since going live in July 2010. The system is the largest system serving Africa and is capable of delivering 3.84 Terabits per second.
With landing points in every coastal country from South Africa to Sudan, as well as landings in Madagascar and Comores, EASSy provides the most extensive reach on the East African coast and provides onward global connectivity through multiple interconnect points with other fibre-optic systems.
EASSy Chairman, Munir Taha of Sudatel, proudly stated that, “The system has been exceptionally successful since launch earlier this year and has shown the importance of true network resilience to customers throughout the region. As a result, we now see the need to increase available capacity to cater for increased demand from African and International operators. As the EASSy system offers customers the most resilient and lowest latency technical solution for services from Africa to Europe, it is becoming the system of choice for many African Telcos and ISPs.”
“The level of capacity sales in the first few months of operation has outstripped our initial forecasts and so we have taken the decision to bring forward the first upgrade of the system”, explained Mr Chris Wood, CEO of WIOCC, the largest investor in the cable. “The system’s 100% reliability record has begun to change the game in Africa. For the first time, truly reliable services are being offered in the region, allowing ISPs and Telcos the opportunity to provide world class service for their customers. The change in focus from one purely relating to price, to that of “best value” and quality, shows that the market is maturing. The increased demand for capacity on EASSy is a clear indication that quality is key and is a message to other network operators – customers will not accept second best and demand reliability”.
Delivering the lowest cost base to the owners and purchasers of capacity on the system has always been a key objective for the system. “EASSy has been in negotiations with potential providers of the planned upgrade for a number of months and will shortly be awarding the contract to install the necessary equipment. The process of inviting multiple potential suppliers to present proposals for the upgrade has enabled EASSy to once again deliver the best technical solution at the lowest cost”, said Mr. Jacques van der Walt, Chairman of the Procurement Group responsible for technical aspects of EASSy
EASSy Enters Commercial Service
Following the completion of the construction of EASSy in April 2010, the system owners have carried out extensive and rigorous tests to ensure that the system meets the highest international standards. “We are confident that this is the most reliable system serving the African continent,” said Mr. Jacques van der Walt, Chairman of the Procurement Group responsible for technical aspects of EASSy.
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