Tuesday, March 11, 2008

SEA-ME-WE 4 - capacity

Capacity of submarine cable to double by 2009

The capacity of the submarine cable system South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe-4 (SEA-ME-WE-4), which connects many countries between Singapore and France, is to be doubled by the end of 2009 under a multi-million dollar project. The upgrade will be beneficial to India, as the cable system in one of the major bandwidth providers to the country.

The doubling of the cable system would result in increasing the trunk capacity of the cable and helping it support increasing broadband traffic along the route.

The cable system, owned by a consortium of 16 telecom carriers, has awarded the upgradation contract to global infrastructure major Alcatel-Lucent and Japanese company Fujitsu.

According to industry sources, Alcatel-Lucent has been awarded the turnkey contract for upgrading certain segments, linking between Mumbai and Marseilles in France.

The company will deploy additional dense wavelength division multiplexing equipment (DWDM) - a data transmission technology - on the India-France link and upgrade a terrestrial link connecting Alexandria and Suez.

Moreover, Alcatel-Lucent has the overall responsibility for the end-to-end realisation of the Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH), a technology that transmits digital signals with different capacities.

The upgradation of the cable�s link between Mumbai and Singapore will be undertaken by Fujitsu, which will again be deploying DWDM technology.

SEA-ME-WE-4 spans nearly 20,000 km linking 14 countries from France to Singapore through Italy, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia. It has 16 landing stations, including one each in Mumbai and Chennai.

India�s Bharti Airtel and Tata Communications (formerly Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd) are the consortium partners in India, with the latter also being the network administrator for the system.

The cable system had a transmission capacity of 1.28 terabits and was lighted up in 2005. India is served by around 10 cable systems, including the consortium cables SEA-ME-WE series, Tata-Indicom-Chennai cable,Reliance-owned Flag and Falcon, BSNL cable and Bharti owned i2i among others.

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