5 Questions with Philippe Dumont
July 22, 2019
Talking Technology Trends with EllaLink Group’s CEO
Philippe Dumont is the CEO of EllaLink and has over 20 years of international experience as a CEO in the Telecoms industry on both the supplier and customer side, as well as working closely with infrastructure funds.
He was previously the President & CEO of ASN (Alcatel Submarine Networks) after holding several executive positions inside Alcatel-Lucent.
Philippe has an engineering degree from the Arts & Metiers (ENSAM) and an MBA from Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) in Paris.
1. You were first involved with the EllaLink project on the supply side. How did your perspective change when you moved onto the operator side?
After spending many years as a supplier, I would say that one of the major differences is related to the project focus. On the supply side, a large amount of effort is spent, often over an extended period, to assist the customer in development of a system design that meets their specific requirements. Once the supply contract is signed it’s over to the supplier to manufacture and implement the system as per the design.
On the customer side, the main focus is on the long-term strategy of the business as a whole which requires a keen understanding of the current market and how it will grow over the life of the system. It is not simply a case of conceiving and deploying a system but also making sure that it will meet the end-users’ demands over time, and that its evolution, both in terms of extension and upgrade, are taken into account from day one.
2. Construction of the EllaLink submarine cable system is advancing – what were the key challenges upfront and what are the main activities completed to date?
It is no secret that project financing is the basic requirement for getting submarine cable projects off the ground and that funding has become more complex over recent years. There is a subtle equilibrium to be achieved between pre-sales, which are key for obtaining financing and demonstrating to potential investors that your project is worthy of their funds. EllaLink has proven to be a valid and future-proof investment for its anchor tenants by both reinforcing and diversifying their existing telecom infrastructures.
So far, we have secured and surveyed landings in Portugal, Madeira, Cabo Verde and Brazil. Manufacturing activities have commenced, the marine survey is underway, and the project is on schedule for ready for service by the end of 2020.