Nairobi, Friday March 13, 2012
The Lower Indian Ocean Network submarine cable (LION2) operated by Telkom Kenya, a subsidiary of the France Telecom Group, has gone live today.
Telkom Kenya Chief Executive Mr. Mickhael Ghossein said LION2, whose laying cost over Ksh 5.7 billion (57 million Euros), is now operational and will significantly boost Kenya’s bandwidth capacity.
The submarine cable, which is the fourth to land in Mombasa after EASSy, TEAMS and SEACOM, is a 2,700 km long extension of the initial Lower Indian Ocean Network that connects Madagascar to the rest of the world, providing alternate onward connectivity from Kenya to Asia and Europe.
“It will guarantee our customers of a robust platform to enjoy our services and products across the region. Besides improving our services, LION 2 will also play a great role in addressing redundancy, especially during outages like the ones experienced in March that impacted both TEAMs and EaSSy,” said Mr. Ghossein, adding that this would in turn reassure the firm’s customers of business continuity, network stability and reliability.
LION2 extends from Mayotte, an island off the Indian Ocean Coast to Nyali in Mombasa. It links East Africa to Madagascar, Mayotte and the Reunion Island, providing an opportunity for increased international traffic through Kenya which further strengthens the country’s positioning as a regional communication hub. Lion 2 uses the most advanced technology for submarine cables – wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) and as it will currently offer a maximum capacity of I.28 tbps, in future, this capacity can be increased without additional submarine work.
The construction of the Lion2 cable represents a total investment of around 57 million Euros of which 38 million Euros comes from France Telecom and its subsidiaries. The laying of LION2 cable began in the fourth quarter of 2010, with key shareholders being France Telecom-Orange, Telkom Kenya, Mauritius Telecom and Orange Madagascar as well as carrier companies Emtel Ltd. and Société Réunionnaise du Radiotéléphone.
Apart from LION2, Telkom Kenya has also invested heavily in other joint broadband infrastructure projects including TEAMS and EASSy submarine cables and terrestrial backbone and is currently expanding its high quality wireless network for both GSM and CDMA across the country.
Due to these infrastructure investments, Telkom Kenya is presently a one-stop shop and a world-class integrated solutions provider in the region with the most innovative and cutting-edge technologies that ensure business efficiency and effectiveness.
A key asset in the Group’s broadband network in Africa
Through the development of its submarine networks, France Telecom-Orange is helping to build a high quality global network. The cables constitute broadband arteries that give the Group high-performance tools at controlled cost to meet growing demand from its customers.
As such, they are a key asset for the Group's objective of providing widespread internet access (narrowband and broadband) in Africa, where it is present in around twenty countries. As part of this approach, France Telecom-Orange is also actively involved in the deployment of the ACE (Africa Coast to Europe) cable, which follows the west coast of Africa.