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Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Network of France Won the Contract from Fiji to Tonga

by wireworld on 05/11/2012 - 06:11 pm

Tag: Press Releases

Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Network of France won the contract to lay a submarine fibre-optic cable system from Fiji to Tonga, which is expected to be in service by June 2013.


The contract was signed this by Robert Bolouri the Interim Managing Director of Tonga Cable Ltd and Michel Bouvard the Vice President Operations of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Network, at the Tonga Communications Corporation office, Fasi.  Tonga Cable Ltd. awarded the contract to Alcatel Lucent after evaluating the bidders, which included Huawei Marine Networks of China, NEC of Japan and TE Subcom of the United States.


Paula Ma'u, the Secretary for Communications and Information said, that the total project is worth US$34 million, and Alcatel won the bid by US$18.9 million. He said that the total allocation for the laying of the cable was US$26.2 million, and the remaining fund would be used to finance the setting up of a e-internet communication system for government ministries.


The US$34 million project  is jointly funded, 20% by TCC and 80% by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.



Michel told Matangi Tonga that the laying of the 827-km submarine cable from Fiji to Tonga should be completed in 14 months. The construction of a landing station for the cable system is expected to be completed in August this year, in Sopu.


He said that work had started in Fiji with a survey to determine the cable route. The survey would also specify the type of cable they would need to manufacture for the project.


"Once we specify the type of cable, whether it is a deep water cable or a shallow water cable, we will start its production in France and airfreight it to Fiji. Our cable ship will be ready in Fiji to lay the cable. Because we are based in Noumea we will be able to carry out any maintenance that will be required on the Tonga cable," he said.


"The submarine fibre optic cable will connect Tonga to the Southern Cross Cable, which is the main trans-Pacific link between Australia and the United States. This link will significantly boost your internet connectivity and substantially increase the availability of broadband services and high speed internet access," he said.


"We are a very strong company in the Pacific and we are not new to the region because we have successfully laid quite a few submarine cables connecting Sydney and Hawaii and one from New Caledonia to Australia, and we are very keen to do a very good job for Tonga," said Michel



Robert Bolouri said that after nearly two and a half years of working on this project it had come to the critical point of signing the agreement.  He said they were very happy that Alcatel-Lucent received the contract. "They provided substantial response to our requirements and they are familiar with this region.


"Alcatel has a ship in this area and their presence is helpful in the future. We are hoping in about 14 months or sooner, the cable would be operational and people will start to receive and use efficient and cheaper communications."


In January, it was made known that when the service comes into full operation it would have a total capacity of 320Gbits, which is 6,000 times more than the 50 to 55Mbits full capacity of the current satellite network that is currently available in Tonga.