President of Alcatel-Lucent on undersea cable connectivity
Philippe Dumont, President of Alcatel-Lucent, recently discussed fibre-optic projects undertaken in Africa for the magazine Réseau Télécom Network No 55. Apart from explaining EASSy, WACS, and ACE cables, Mr. Dumont adds a few insights worth sharing:
- landing points and connectivity matter just as much as network capacity
- deployed networks have a life of 25 years: we must plan for long term (SAT3/SAFE cables are technically obsolete despite construction in 2002)
- the challenge now that coasts are connected will be terrestrial backbone
- satellite will continue to serve rural areas and provide resilience to the main networks (ie. Sierra Leone)
- do not compare submarine cable with satellite as the uses are different
Also interesting is the analogy (if translated correctly) that compares fibre networks to train routes. Mr. Dumon visualizes that, just because a train crosses the French countryside, it doesn’t mean the countryside has access to the train. A landing point is required.