Alcatel-Lucent secures deal to build Africa's undersea cable

Alcatel-Lucent has won a $240 million contract to construct an undersea telecommunications cable around East Africa expected to cut the cost of phone calls on the continent, officials, quoted by a Xinhua News report said.

The Xinhua News report also quoted a statement from the company as saying that the 10,000-km East Africa Submarine System (EASSy), which was constantly held back due to arguments over the cost of access, is expected to spur investment and make communications more accessible to the poor.

The EASSy project will initially link eight countries from Sudan to South Africa, via Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar and Mozambique, the reports said.

There will also be links to other major submarine systems, to provide an important international gateway, it added.

Completion is scheduled by the end of 2008, the company also said.