Alcatel-Lucent delivers ultra-broadband connectivity to Melanesia

Alcatel-Lucent has partnered with Vanuatu-based cable provider Interchange, for the delivery of ultra-broadband services between Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Alcatel will use its submarine technology to expand Interchange’s 3,000km of subsea cable infrastructure in Melanesia, in a bid to reduce the digital divide in the Pacific Islands.

The expansion will connect Port Villa, Vanuatu, to Port Moresby, PNG, as well as Luganville, Vanuatu, and Honiara in the Solomon Islands, and is designed to create a sustainable environment for social and economic growth in the area.

“Fast and easy connections to everything and all the time is a critical demand, whether it comes from video entertainment, cloud-based business applications or access to more basic health care applications from remote areas,” said Simon Fletcher, CEO at Interchange.

“With the help of Alcatel-Lucent’s submarine technology, this new undersea cable system further helps remove the current dependence on satellite and further encourages the introduction of new services and applications affordably available to everyone.”

The system will initially operate at 40Gbps, with a total design capacity of 1.2Tbps, and is expected to complement Interchange’s Vanuatu-Fiji subsea cable system, due to begin commercial operations this month.

Philippe Dumont, president at Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, said that undersea cable systems were critical for reliable connectivity.

“It is well documented that cost-effective access to broadband fosters social and economic development for the more isolated geographies,” Dumont said.