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Asia to fuel next wave of subsea network growth

30 августа 2010

Alcatel-Lucent said it expects the next wave of investment in submarine cable networks to be fuelled by markets in Asia.

"Asia will be the next continent; there is capacity but not enough connectivity," said Philippe Dumont, head of Alcatel-Lucent's submarine network operations.

He explained during an event held at the company's submarine network plant in Greenwich, London that while there are a number of subsea cable systems present in Asia-Pacific, there are still plenty of underserved markets in the region that would benefit from more landing points.

"Australia, particularly in the west, has very little or no connectivity," claimed Dumont.

He said that once connectivity has been established other needs arise, such as the need for resilience in seismically unstable areas of the seabed.

"[Asia-Pacific] is quite interesting from a geographical standpoint," he said.

Dumont's comments come at a time when a lot of focus in the submarine network market centres on providing connectivity to Africa.

Alcatel-Lucent is currently involved in a number of cable projects around the coast of Africa, including but not limited to the 10,000 kilometre-long EASSy system linking eight countries on Africa's east coast; ACE, which connects Cape Town in South Africa to Penmarch in France; and WACS – a 14,000 kilometre-long cable route connecting southern Africa to Europe.

The vendor also announced plans to extend WACS from Portugal to the U.K.

"The biggest demand for traffic [in Africa] is coming from consumers who want to access video, social networks – they have the same needs as consumers anywhere else," said Dumont.

"The second-largest share of traffic comes from enterprises," he said, highlighting African banking as a sector that increasingly requires global connectivity.

However, Dumont also sees the end approaching for the current wave of investment in subsea cable networks serving Africa.

"Africa will end its [investment] cycle in around 2012," he said, adding that once they've been launched, Africa's offshore cable networks should provide sufficient capacity to the continent for the next five to 10 years.

Источник: Total Telecom

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