Orange extends African Lion network to Kenya

French mobile operator Orange has joined the Lion2 cable consortium in a pact to build a new submarine cable in the Indian Ocean, extending the Lion cable network to Kenya via the island of Mayotte.

The agreement comes less than a year after the inauguration of the original Lion submarine cable (Lower Indian Ocean Network) linking Madagascar to the rest of the world via Réunion Island and Mauritius.

The 3,000 km long cable will extend the existing network to Kenya, providing Mayotte with access to a broadband internet network for the first time.

The construction of the Lion2 cable represents a total investment of around €56.5m, about €31.25m of which will come from France Telecom. Service is scheduled to begin in the first half of 2012.

The new cable will also provide an alternate route for secure broadband transmissions through Europe and Asia for all of the African countries in which France Telecom is located.

Lion2 is built on wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology with a maximum potential capacity of 1.28Tbps.

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