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African cable operators tap Alcatel-Lucent for network continuity services

More than 10 countries connected to a fiber-optic network in the region last year

Alcatel-Lucent is relying on a new facility in Cape Verde to help offer quick mobilization times for repair operations in West Africa, as it moves to work with two major cable operators in Africa.

Alcatel-Lucent's agreements with the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) and the West Africa Cable System (WACS) consortiums, announced Thursday, is expected to strengthen broadband continuity in several parts of Africa, particularly in West Africa where broadband connectivity has been on the rise lately. More than 10 countries connected to a fiber-optic network in the region last year -- some connecting to a global Internet backbone for the first time.

While the 6,300-km ACE system linking 15 African countries to Portugal has been in commercial service since December 2012 and the 9,000-km WACS system linking 13 African countries from South Africa to Portugal has been in commercial service since May 2012, no serious faults in the networks have developed yet.

In the case of a breakdown, the Cape Verde depot is expected to enable rapid response, which is essential to restore any disruption in the provision of high speed data network, according to the president of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, Philippe Dumont.

Both consortiums have now joined other African systems in the Atlantic Private Maintenance Agreement (APMA), which allows them to access Alcatel-Lucent's maintenance vessels as well as experienced and certified specialist personnel for cable repairs.


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