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Alcatel Awarded $33 Million Contract to Upgrade SAT-3/WASC With Terrestrial and Submarine Optical Solutions.

Business Editors & High-Tech Writers

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 23, 2002

An "Express Route" Will be Available Along the 14,000 km Optical DWDM

Submarine Network Laid by Alcatel On the West African Coast

Alcatel (NYSE:ALA), the world leader in optical networking, was awarded a $33 million contract by the SAT-3/WASC consortium to upgrade SAT-3/WASC DWDM submarine cable system at 10 Gbit/s. An "express route" will be created between Portugal and South Africa, ensuring a high capacity connection between Europe and Africa. Alcatel will supply all the submarine and terrestrial optical terminals for this upgrade. The installation and commissioning will be completed and operational by the first quarter of 2003.

The upgrade will add one wavelength at 10 Gbit/s on a single fiber pair between Portugal and the Republic of South Africa, according to the network architecture. The system is designed to support four wavelengths at 2.5 Gbit/s, connecting all the concerned countries on the Western coast of Africa and five wavelengths at 10 Gbit/s between Portugal and South Africa. The first connection responds to regional telecommunication needs for both voice and data while the second one implements a high speed link between Europe and Africa. Furthermore, it can play the role of restoration for other submarine systems around Africa, because of the various interconnections between them.

"We are very pleased to benefit from this fast upgrade implementation ability ensured by Alcatel," said Kobus Stoeder, chairman, SAT-3/WASC consortium. "No sooner has the network been lit up that we need to upgrade it, showing its sustained development as soon as the capacity is available. Furthermore, it proves that SAT-3/WASC occupies a key position within the World Wide Web: its route being ideally located, it can easily be used as a secure and fast back up solution for other networks."

"We are delighted to continue to work for SAT-3/WASC by implementing our latest upgrade technology," said Jean Godeluck, president, Alcatel's submarine network activity. "Alcatel demonstrates its unique capability to furnish its clients with customized solutions, as the traffic on their networks grows. Moreover, we are the sole vendor able to implement a seamless system management platform with a great flexibility."

Alcatel will ensure the upgrade with the necessary terrestrial equipment. The latter consists of submarine line terminal equipment installed in Portugal and South Africa, as well as back-to-back equipment in Senegal, Ghana, the Ivory Coast and the Canaries to ensure the traffic signal regeneration. Additional terrestrial equipment, comprising advanced optical networking products that include SDH optical multi-service nodes systems (OMSN), will also be implemented by Alcatel.

Furthermore, in the fourth quarter of 2001, Alcatel supplied a full integrated, user-friendly network management platform, providing end-to-end supervision and provisioning. Not only does this platform manage the whole upgraded SAT-3/WASC network, but also another system linking South Africa and India for which Alcatel delivered the SDH infrastructure that will be upgraded in parallel.

Note to the Editor: Submarine Interconnections

The various submarine networks can all be interconnected, as a real world-wide web. This ensures a quick restoration of the traffic if any damage occurs to the cable. In the case of SAT-3/WASC, as the network circle Africa on the Western coast, it can be envisaged to act as a restoration for Sea-Me-We 3 a 40,000 km link from Western Europe to Far East Asia via Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean thanks to connections between the latter and other India to Africa systems.

About SAT-3/WASC

SAT-3/WASC links Portugal, Spain, Canary Islands, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Angola and the Republic of South Africa, allowing all of them to be connected to Europe and to benefit from a high capacity link well adapted to new telecommunications applications, such as the Internet. It will also be linked with a network spanning from South Africa to South-East Asia via India.

This network consists of a core backbone with various diversions radiating out to other countries. This is made possible due to the integration of special equipment -- branching units. They allow either a fiber pair or the required number of wavelengths to be diverted, depending on the capacity requested by the end destination.

Alcatel is entirely managing this project end-to-end, offering a full turnkey solution to its customers, from network design to installation. This includes the manufacturing of all the equipment such as cable, repeaters, branching units and terminal equipment for the terrestrial stations. SAT-3/WASC Submarine Cable System will be able to consist in the backbone of a future city-to-city network. It highlights the advantages of submarine networks, in a given context, over both terrestrial and satellite networks regarding flexibility, the rapid turnaround time of the implementation of the works and the ability to provide a large, upgradable bandwidth.

About Alcatel

According to leading telecom market research firm RHK, Alcatel was the 2001 world leader in global optical transport -- encompassing terrestrial and submarine applications -- with 17 percent market share, in terrestrial optical transport with 14.2 percent market share and in submarine optical transport with 41 percent market share, an unprecedented achievement in the telecom industry. Alcatel's optics business is composed of optical components, optical fibers, SDH/SONET and DWDM systems, cross-connects, microwave radio links, network intelligence, and services for both terrestrial and submarine applications.

Alcatel is the world leader in delivering full turnkey submarine network solutions and services. Alcatel leads this industry in terms of:
-- having the highest sold capacity up to 8.4 Tbit/s for the long-haul systems
and 3.6 Tbit/s for the short-haul ones, using the latest DWDM technology;

-- handling its own manufacturing;

-- managing a fleet of dedicated purposed-designed vessels for a tight control
on the delivery schedule, including marine maintenance.

Current contracts include the most advanced undersea networks in the world today: FLAG Atlantic-1 and Apollo systems in the Atlantic, Japan-US and Southern Cross transpacific systems, the MAC and MAYA-1 systems in the Americas, SAT-3 around Africa and Global West along the Western coast of the U.S.

Alcatel designs, develops and builds innovative and competitive communications networks, enabling carriers, service providers and enterprises to deliver any type of content, such as voice, data and multimedia, to any type of consumer, anywhere in the world. Relying on its leading and comprehensive products and solutions portfolio, stretching from end-to-end optical infrastructures, fixed and mobile networks to broadband access, Alcatel's customers can focus on optimizing their service offerings and revenue streams. With sales of Euro 25 billion in 2001 and 99,000 employees, Alcatel operates in more than 130 countries. For more information,
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 23, 2002
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