OPT, ASN sign 2,500km NATITUA subsea cable deal

24 July 2017 | Jason McGee-Abe


French Polynesia’s OPT and Nokia’s Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) have signed a turn-key agreement for the deployment of the NATITUA subsea cable system, which will have an ultimate design capacity of over 10Tbps.

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Spanning more than 2,500 km, the NATITUA system will strengthen broadband connectivity and contribute to further bridge the digital divide in French Polynesia by linking Tahiti to eight atolls in the archipelagos of Tuamotu - Rangiroa, Manihi, Takaroa, Kaukura, Arutua, Fakarava, Makemo and Hao - and two islands of Marquisas - Hiva Oa and Nuku Hiva. 

NATITUA will extend the overall existing infrastructure HONOTUA cable system which connects Tahiti to Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea and Bora Bora on a domestic level and Tahiti to Hawaii internationally.

"This is a further step for French Polynesia as OPT aims to continue to improve access to information and services that are migrating to digital formats,” said Jean-François Martin, OPT President and CEO.

“Alcatel Submarine Networks' technology will serve as a base for delivering new applications that will help fuel cultural, economic and social development, as well as broadly extending the benefit of digital economy, for our community."

NATITUA will also enhance the availability and accessibility to high quality, innovative broadband applications such as telemedicine, e-learning and on-line tourism programmes for remoted islands' end-users.

The President of French Polynesia, M. Edouard Fritch, in charge of telecommunications, said: "I wish French Polynesia could embrace the digital age and become a nation of smart islands in the forthcoming years and NATITUA is a further step towards this objective."

The solution to be deployed by ASN will include the 1620 SOFTNODE, which incorporates multiple transmission formats to maximise delivered capacity at the lowest cost per bit and ROADM branching unit, which is part of ASN's product portfolio also including wavelength selective switch (WSS) technology. 

"This contract confirms Alcatel Submarine Networks' commitment to helping customers like OPT bridge the digital divide and foster sustainable growth. ASN's solutions give access to advanced technologies for delivering high added-value broadband services and applications that stimulate cultural and socio-economic development,” added Philippe Piron, president of Alcatel Submarine Networks.

As part of the contract, ASN will also be in charge of project management, system design, marine operations and system commissioning.