Egyptian fixed line incumbent Telecom Egypt (TE) in partnership with French-US vendor Alcatel-Lucent has reportedly launched its Mediterranean cable, dubbed ‘TE North’, with the latter noting that the system has been provisioned with 40 Gigabit per second (40G) wavelengths, making it the first cable network in the Med to provide commercial services using 40G technology. The 3,600km submarine link connects Abu Talat in Egypt to Marseille, France, with a branch to Pentaskhinos, Cyprus, while it also includes other branching units for further expansion in the Mediterranean basin. According to a press release by Alca-Lu, the introduction of the 40G technology ‘essentially doubles the original design capacity of the system from 10Tbps to over 20Tbps’, and the expanded design capacity will reportedly allow TE to better meet the increased demands of its customers. To implement the upgrade, Alcatel-Lucent used the latest 1620 Light Manager product, previously deployed as part of the original USD125 million contract, and which was subsequently upgraded to 40G.
Commenting on the development, TE CEO Mohamed Abdelrehim noted: ‘Telecom Egypt is very proud to take on the responsibility of serving the International telecommunications infrastructure along the Asia and Africa to Europe route with innovative proven technological advances … TE North, with its recent 40G upgrades across the Mediterranean, will enhance the Egyptian user experience as more and more Egyptians celebrate their freedom and humanity online.’ Philippe Dumont, president of Alca-Lu’s Submarine Networks SAS, meanwhile said: ‘Mixing our advanced 40G coherent technology with existing 10G channels enables operators like Telecom Egypt to best serve their customers and the end-users in the region with adequate speed and bandwidth to experience broadband multimedia services such as video with the highest quality.’