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VAS

Orange plans alternative cable for Kenya

CARTOON
By | September 28th 2010

By MACHARIA KAMAU

Kenya is set to have a fourth submarine cable following plans by Telkom Kenya to lay a cable connecting the country to the world through the Indian Ocean island of Mayotte.

The new cable will offer alternative routes for the operator to route traffic to other parts of the world and boost redundancy to the three undersea cable networks Kenya has.

Telkom said the new network would increase its capacity and allow it offer even cheaper Internet connectivity.

The Lower Indian Ocean Network (LION2) will link Kenya to the world through the island of Mayotte.

France Telecom, a majority shareholder in Telkom Kenya, will finance the project at a cost of Sh3.37 billion (31.25 million euros0, which represents 50 per cent of the total project cost of around Sh6.1 billion (56.5 million euros).

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The French operator last week that the 3,000km cable will be operational in 2012.

Its Kenyan landing station will be in Nyali. "The new cable will provide an alternate route for secure broadband transmissions through Europe and Asia for all of the African countries where France Telecom has operations," said the firm in a statement.

"For Kenya, LION2 is an important project that will strengthen its connectivity to international networks and cover its capacity requirements for years to come."

The project is being conducted by a consortium of France Telecom and its subsidiaries Mauritius Telecom, Orange Madagascar and Telkom Kenya along with carrier companies Emtel, SociÈtÈ RÈunionnaise du RadiotÈlÈphone and STOI Internet. LION2 is the second phase of the Lion project.

The first saw the laying of another undersea cable that provided broadband Internet network to Madagascar.

Telkom Kenya already has investments in the East African Marine Systems and the East African sub-marine System.

The firm has positioned itself locally to reap from growth in data segment.

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