Alcatel-Lucent has signed a turnkey contract with a consortium composed of nine operators to deploy a new submarine cable network linking Mumbai in India to Marseilles in France. Named India-Middle East-Western Europe (IMEWE), the 13,000km cable network will meet demand for enhanced backhaul communications capabilities along the India-Western Europe route, as well as for increased capacity to support high-bandwidth broadband services. As part of IMEWE, a terrestrial link will also be deployed in Egypt to connect the cities of Alexandria and Suez.
The nine parties that form the consortium include Bharti (India), Etisalat (UAE), France Telecom, Ogero Telecom (Egypt), PTCL (Pakistan), STC (Saudi Arabia), Telecom Egypt, Telecom Italia Sparkle and VSNL (India). With completion scheduled in the last quarter of 2009, IMEWE will have a minimum capacity of 3.84Tbps on three fibre pairs. The cable will be composed of two trunk cables connecting India to France via Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and Italy. Along the route, this cable network will have ten landing points located in Mumbai (two), Karachi, Fujairah, Jeddah, Suez, Alexandria, Tripoli Catania and Marseilles. Alcatel-Lucent will build the turnkey system with the support of its subcontractor NEC who will provide and install the wet plant from Mumbai to Jeddah.