France Tel backs second Indian Ocean cable

A consortium led by France Telecom has announced plans for a new €56.5 million subsea cable in the Indian Ocean.
The group, which also includes three France Telecom subsidiaries and carrier companies Emtel, Société Réunionnaise du Radiotéléphone and STOI Internet, will join forces for the 3,000km Lower Indian Ocean Network 2 (LION2) cable, which will extend the existing LION network to Kenya.
LION currently links Madagascar to the world via Reunion Island and Mauritius.
France Telecom and subsidiaries Mauritius Telecom, Orange Madagascar and Telkom Kenya will front €31.25 million of the cost of the new cable.
It will provide a link to Asia via the Sat3-Wasc-Safe, a cable system built by another consortium including France Telecom, and provide an alternative route to Asia.
LION2 will use WDM technology to give it potential capacity of up to 1.28Tbps, France Telecom said. The cable should be operational by the first half of 2012.
France Telecom is also an investor in submarine cables on the other side of Africa, including the ACE (Africa Coast to Europe) cable between South Africa and France due to be turned on this year.