France Telecom-Orange and the other members of the Lower Indian Ocean Network 2 (LION2) consortium have announced the commercial launch of services on the submarine cable, providing the island of Mayotte with broadband connectivity for the first time and reinforcing international network connectivity for Kenya. The new cable link concludes the second phase of the group’s plans to extend broadband internet connectivity in the Indian Ocean, following the launch of the original Lower Indian Ocean Network (LION) submarine cable at the end of 2009. The LION cable links Madagascar to the global internet via Reunion and Mauritius, and by dint of LION2, has now been extended to Kenya (with a landing station at Nyali) via Mayotte (landing at Kaweni). The group’s subsidiary partners are Mauritius Telecom, Orange Madagascar and Telkom Kenya, as well as two other operators, Emtel (Mauritius) and Societe Reunionnaise du Radiotelephone (SRR).
The 2,700km long fibre-optic cable uses wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology, offering a maximum potential capacity of 1.28Tbps, to be increased without additional submarine upgrade work. The construction of the LION2 cable represents a total investment of around EUR57 million (USD74.9 million), of which approximately EUR38 million was provided by France Telecom-Orange and its subsidiaries.