The submarine cable LION (Lower Indian Ocean Network) was officially inaugurated today in Reunion. The fiber-optic cable, which connects Madagascar, Reunion and Mauritius, was lit on the island on November 16, 2009. The project was financed by a consortium made up of Orange Madagascar, Mauritius Telecom and France Telecom S.A.
LION makes it possible to connect Madagascar to the broadband internet network on the one hand and to secure the connection of the Group's regional sites in Reunion and Mauritius on the other. These two islands represent the connection points for the SAT3-WASC-SAFE cable, which links Europe to Asia via the southern tip of Africa.
LION: 1,000 km of fiber-optic cable and three new landing stations
The LION cable was laid by the "Chamarel", one of the France Telecom Group's cable ships.
In Madagascar, the island's first submarine cable station was opened at Toamasina, the main port on the east coast. Connection to the LION cable enables significantly improved internet connectivity, a decisive factor for the country's social and economic development. Thanks to the introduction of broadband internet, a whole range of uses is made possible for a significant proportion of the population at prices tailored to local needs.
For Reunion, the creation of a second station in Ste Marie, which is located to the east of the St Paul station, further strengthens the reliability of the island's international broadband connectivity.
Finally, in Mauritius, the new Terre Rouge station will make it possible to reroute traffic if necessary, providing backup for the Jacotet Bay station.
stepping up exchanges thanks to fiber-optic
LION is based on the latest technology currently used for fiber-optics: wavelength division multiplexing (WDM), which allows capacity to be increased in line with requirements without any further undersea work. Moreover, the potential speed of 1.28 terabytes per second means that LION is the region's most powerful cable. Facilitating the use of broadband services, it will make it possible to step-up exchanges between the three islands.
Orange forging ahead with its strategy to extend submarine cables
The development of regional cooperation in the Indian Ocean could be further strengthened thanks to a project to extend the LION cable to Mombasa (Kenya), where there are several possibilities for interconnecting with other submarine cables.
The Group is also involved in the construction of submarine cables off Africa's Atlantic coast. In 2011, the ACE cable (Africa Coast to Europe) will link South Africa to France, connecting all the countries along Africa's west coast and providing them with access to the global network.
Through these investments, Orange is contributing to the development of a high-quality global network, using submarine cables to create broadband arteries that provide the Group with the high performance tools necessary to meet growing customer demands. More specifically, the development of such networks plays an important role in Orange's ambition to democratize internet access (narrowband and broadband) in Africa, where the Group is present in around 20 countries.