Increased speeds boost ability of 14,350km cable system to meet growing demand for broadband services and connectivity.

Paris, September 01, 2014

SAT-3/WASC/SAFE Parties and Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) have completed the fourth upgrade of the SAT-3/WASC undersea cable system, which went live during the first half of 2014. This latest upgrade has doubled the current system capacity, further positioning SAT-3/WASC as a leading submarine cable facility on the Sub-Saharan African coastline.

Operating at 40 gigabit-per-second (Gbit/s) and with full in-system protection, the system offers one of the lowest latency routes from Africa to Europe with connectivity between Europe, West Coast of Africa and Southern Africa with landings in South Africa, Angola, Gabon, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Spain and Portugal. The SAT-3/WASC cable system was upgraded from 420 Gbit/s to 920 Gbit/s in the northern segments, north of Ghana, and from 340 Gbit/s to 800Gbit/s in the southern segments. Overall, this fourth upgrade enables a sevenfold increase in SAT-3/WASC’s original design capacity through the use of Alcatel-Lucent’s advanced coherent technology.

Furthermore, SAFE provides the shortest route and therefore lowest latency between Southern Africa and Asia with connectivity via South Africa, Mauritius, Reunion, India and Malaysia. With sixteen landing points spread between Europe, Africa and Asia, the SAT-3/WASC/SAFE cables provide access to global markets and footprint, offering to customers' seamless and diverse connectivity to the rest of the world.

Johan Meyer, Management Committee Chairman of SAT-3/WASC/SAFE consortium said: “SAT-3/WASC/SAFE has a proven track record backed by 12 years of operational experience and sound financial stability, allowing for further cable upgrades and optimum network performance, both regionally and globally. The additional capacity available with the fourth upgrade will contribute significantly in meeting the ongoing demand in the markets served by SAT3/WASC/SAFE.”

Philippe Dumont, President of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, said: “Carriers, service providers, multimedia and content providers all are expanding their networks to support Internet and data center applications, while protecting their existing investments. Alcatel-Lucent’s unique submarine solution delivers ease of upgrade and scalability to multi-terabit capacity, offering a staged migration combining technological and economic benefits. This upgrade allows quicker service turn-up to meet customers’ expectations for anywhere, anytime access to broadband applications, storage and computing.”

For more information visit the SAT-3/WASC/SAFE website.