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. EIG is the first direct, high-bandwidth optical-fiber submarine cable system from the United Kingdom to India, and 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 terabits per second (Tbps) 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 Comunicações, 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 USD 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 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 will also use the 1678 Metro Core Connect, and deploy its latest generation 1626 Light Manager (LM) DWDM (dense wavelength division multiplexing) transmission equipment to provide seamless connectivity across the two terrestrial links in the UK and Egypt at 40Gbit/s. The Alcatel-Lucent offering across the EIG system provides terabit transmission capabilities to accelerate the delivery of broadband services and applications.
"EIG utilises 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," said Mr. 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," said Etienne Lafougère, 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."