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Alcatel-Lucent starts construction of Sea-Me-We 5 undersea cable system linking Singapore & France

Alcatel-Lucent announced that it has started the construction of South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 5 (SEA-ME-WE 5) undersea cable system linking Singapore and France.


With a total distance spanning approximately 20,000 km, the new 100G SEA-ME-WE 5 state-of-the-art submarine cable system will connect Singapore to Europe (Italy and France) and traverse Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Oman, UAE, Yemen, Djibouti and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Alcatel-Lucent has started construction of the segments spanning from Sri Lanka to France. Co-contractor NEC will be deploying the Singapore to Sri Lanka segment. Its ultimate design capacity of 24 Terabit per second (Tbit/s) will be used to serve the countries along its route, equivalent of transmitting about 4800 high-definition (HD) movies every second.

In March this year, Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) formed an alliance together with fifteen (15) leading global telcos to set up a consortium for the establishment of SEA-ME-WE 5.

The collaboration was made official with the signing of the Construction and Maintenance Agreement (C&MA) for the SEA-ME-WE 5 cable system between the consortium members which consist of Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL), China Mobile International Limited (CMI), China Telecommunications Global Limited (CTG), China United Network Communications Group Company Limited (CU), Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, PJSC,  (du), Orange (formerly France Telecom – FT), Myanmar Post and Telecom (MPT), PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin), Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel), Sri Lanka Telecom PLC (SLT), Telecom Italia Sparkle (TIS), TOT Public Company Limited, Yemen International Telecommunications Co. (TeleYemen) and Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM).

SEA-ME-WE 5 will also provide an alternative route to Europe for TM’s IP traffic which is mostly routed via USA. TM said that past catastrophic failures in the Asia Pacific region due to earthquake or tsunami had given impact to TM’s services.

Linette Lee , Chairperson of the SEA-ME-WE 5 Management Committee said:  “With the rollout of the SEA-ME-WE 5 system, we will deliver a dynamic and agile way to serve end-users and offer them the quality of service they need. Alcatel-Lucent and NEC’s 100G undersea technology will help us in setting a new milestone in the further development of this route.”

Alcatel-Lucent said it has a long-standing tradition of more than 30 years of technical cooperation with SEA-ME-WE consortia for several projects. The SEA-ME-WE 5 consortium will integrate Alcatel-Lucent’s latest innovations in subsea communications, including the Alcatel-Lucent 1620 Light Manager submarine line terminal using Advanced Coherent technology and incorporating the latest Soft Decision Forward Error Correction (SDFEC) technology, as well as its advanced ROADM branching unit offering dynamic features for enhanced system resilience. Alcatel-Lucent will also install cable and repeaters, and the cable system will be managed by Alcatel-Lucent’s end-to-end submarine network management system. As part of the contract, Alcatel-Lucent will also be in charge of project management, system design, marine operations and system commissioning.

Philippe Dumont, President of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks said: “We are pleased to start working on the construction of the SEA-ME-WE 5 system to deliver a state-of–the-art infrastructure that will combine several advantages in terms of innovation, flexibility and reliability to decongest existing systems and will offer end-users an increased service experience.”

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