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Orascom Telecom awards Alcatel-Lucent the Mediterranean Sea segment of Middle East North Africa (MENA) submarine cable network


Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) has signed a turnkey contract with Orascom Telecom to lay the Mediterranean Sea segment of a new 3,850 km submarine cable network, named Middle East North Africa (MENA). Positioning Egypt as a central hub for traffic transit across Europe, Middle East and Asia, the new submarine network will provide an added-value vehicle to support the increased broadband communications in the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.

MENA will link Egypt, Italy and Saudi Arabia, delivering an ultimate capacity of 5.76 Tbit/s that will greatly increase international and regional connectivity. With completion scheduled by the first quarter of 2009, it will allow businesses and consumers to benefit from enhanced capacity and reliability to access innovative broadband services. Alcatel-Lucent will be responsible for the turnkey rollout of the Egypt to Italy segment that will have landing points in Alexandria (Egypt) and Mazara del Vallo, Sicily, in Italy.

“MENA will enable improved international connectivity to support new, high-speed services and brings us an important step closer to delivering the much needed international bandwidth services to the Middle East and Asia through Orascom Telecom’s several companies around the world,” said Naguib Sawiris, CEO and Chairman of Orascom Telecom.

“With today’s market changes, operators have to address increased connectivity requirements, while minimizing their operational costs and guaranteeing performance continuity at the highest level possible,” said Olivier Picard, President of Alcatel-Lucent’s Europe and South activities. “Our cost-effective solutions enable our customers to enhance their network efficiency for strengthened end-user satisfaction with easy-to-operate services and applications.”

The Alcatel-Lucent submarine solution will be based on its 1620 Light Manager next-generation DWDM submarine platform, and will also include cable and submarine repeaters and branching units, providing direct connectivity to landing stations. A comprehensive suite of professional services, including permitting and project management, engineering, marine operation, and installation testing and commissioning, is part of this turnkey project.

This new project further strengthens the long-lasting cooperation between Alcatel-Lucent and Orascom Telecom, who have successfully partnered on the implementation of several fixed and wireless communications projects in different countries around the world.


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