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Italy’s INFN selects Alcatel/Elettra consortium for undersea telescope in the Mediterranean


Paris, June 19, 2006 - Alcatel (Paris: CGEP.PA and NYSE: ALA) today announced that it has signed, in consortium with Elettra - a Telecom Italia Group company specialized in survey, installation and maintenance of submarine cable networks, a contract with Italy’s public scientific institution Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN) for a 5 million Euro project to deploy a submarine cable network for the research activities carried out via the NEutrino Mediterranean Observatory (NEMO) telescope. The new cable system will enable data transmission from NEMO to the researchers’ stations as they investigate data for monitoring astrophysical and geophysical subjects such as bioluminescent phenomena, the marine environment, and seismic activity.

Alcatel’s submarine network will offer a reliable and efficient platform bringing high bandwidth connectivity and power to the new undersea neutrino telescope module prototype located off the coast of Sicily, at sea depths of 3,500 meters. With an onshore station based in Portopalo di Capo Passero (Siracusa, Italy) – not far from the INFN-LNS (South National Laboratories in the city of Catania, NEMO will work for its final configuration as a detector of neutrinos, which are elementary particles journeying for great distances through the universe without being deflected by magnetic fields or absorbed. This characteristic makes them ideal for investigating phenomena occurring in the universe, as information can be traced back towards the emitting source.

To detect the light and calculate the neutrino directions with the best possible angular accuracy, NEMO will rely on over 4,000 photo multiplier sensors serving as lenses for data collection on multiple subjects including colliding galaxies and exploding stars, as well as will supply the technological infrastructure for oceanographic and geophysical studies, such as earthquake monitoring and predictions.

“This project will offer to INFN and to the Italian research community advanced applications to implement new research models for astrophysical subjects and also enhancing other sciences such as seismology and the predictability of geophysical events,” stated Emilio Migneco, Director of the INFN NEMO project. “Alcatel’s filed-proven expertise in deploying and managing complex submarine projects has been the key criterion in our choice.”

“This new achievement further confirms Alcatel’s ability to meet traditional and new market demands leveraging a recognized expertise in the submarine market,” said Jean Godeluck, President of Alcatel’s submarine network activities. “Submarine networks are gaining momentum in supporting scientific installations thanks to the versatility they offer both in terms of connectivity and power distribution.”

Alcatel will design, manufacture and commission the submarine cable system, based on dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) technology, with the ability to be upgraded easily and cost-effectively in the future. Elettra will design the route and perform surveys and installation of the submarine cable system.

About Elettra
Elettra tlc SpA is a company belonging to TELECOM ITALIA group, who provides a full range of services related to submarine systems. The main activities are oceanographic surveys, installation, inspection and maintenance of submarine cable systems. The Company has its headquarters in Rome and manages the submarine cable depot in Catania, which is the base for maritime operations. Elettra has an experienced, highly qualified workforce and operates a fleet of vessels equipped with state-of-the-art technology. For more information, visit Elettra on the Internet:

About INFN
INFN is - National Institute of Nuclear Physics - the Italian agency devoted to the study the fundamental constituents of matter, and conducts theoretical and experimental research in the fields of subnuclear, nuclear, and astroparticle physics. Fundamental research in these areas requires the use of cutting-edge technologies and instrumentation, which the INFN develops both in its own laboratories and in collaboration with the world of industry. These activities are conducted in close collaboration with the academic world.

About Alcatel
Alcatel provides communications solutions to telecommunication carriers, Internet service providers and enterprises for delivery of voice, data and video applications to their customers or employees. Alcatel brings its leading position in fixed and mobile broadband networks, applications and services, to help its partners and customers build a user-centric broadband world. With sales of EURO 13.1 billion and 58,000 employees in 2005, Alcatel operates in more than 130 countries. For more information, visit Alcatel on the Internet:


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