Alcatel-Lucent today announced that it has signed a contract worth more than US$30 million with Seychelles Cable System (SCS) to build the Seychelles East Africa System (SEAS) linking Victoria in Seychelles, to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The new system will provide the Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, with high-speed direct access to the world's optical fiber backbone, for the first time. The SEAS will span over 1,900 km offering international connectivity in support of affordable Internet access and new broadband applications for commerce, government services, e-health for improved quality of life.
"This new connection will provide faster Internet and improved access to telecommunications, providing a cost-effective reliable solution that will give us an alternative to satellite connections, which we are almost completely dependent on now," said Benjamin Choppy, Principal Secretary, Department of ICT in the Vice-President's Office. The CEOs of the two telecom operators participating in SCS, Mr. Charles Hammond (Cable & Wireless Seychelles) and Mr. Tsiresy Randriamampionona (AIRTEL Seychelles), also remarked that "The scalability of Alcatel-Lucent submarine solution and its extensive end-to-end expertise will help us meet our growing bandwidth needs as well as improve the quality of service we offer our customers on both fixed and mobile networks."
Additionally, Africa has historically been the least connected but in the past year it has made significant strides in rectifying this. With deployments completed, ongoing and new projects launched, the number of submarine cable networks will increase by a factor of five by the end of 2012 compared to 2000, with some of them already in service such as EASSy, bringing the total capacity available to 20.2 Tbit/s (terabits per second) from the 0.2 Tbit/s in 2000, as well as increase the number of landing points from 16 to 76 over the same reference period.
"As the penetration of Internet access in the African continent continues to gain momentum there is tremendous opportunity to offer new applications that can benefit every sector of society," said Philippe Dumont, President of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks SAS. "The promise of appealing new applications is compelling service providers to demand better connectivity and extended access to capacity so they can meet the needs of their customers. As the market leader with a turnkey offering, Alcatel-Lucent can meet such demands with advanced and flexible solutions that enable service providers to cost-effectively address the growth of data-intensive applications and deliver end-users affordable services."
The Alcatel-Lucent end-to-end solution will be based on its submarine cable family, its 1620 Light Manager submarine line terminal, synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) equipment in the landing stations and end-to-end network management in the landing stations. Alcatel-Lucent will manage the project on a turnkey basis including the system design, manufacturing, installation and commissioning.