By Interoute

Tunisiana and Orange Tunisia today announced the signing of a partnership agreement withInteroute, the owner operator of Europe’s largest next generation network, for the commissioning of a submarine cable, called Didon, connecting the city of Kélibia, Tunisia to Interoute’s pan European fiber optic network, via its landing station in Mazara del Vallo, Siciliy, Italy. Didon, Tunisia’s first private submarine cable will cover nearly 170 km of optical fiber and be a real force for social development and economic growth for the country. The commissioning of the Didon cable is planned for April 2014 and its capacity will reach eight Terabit per second and per operator.

The signing of this agreement is part of the national initiative to support and strengthen the ICT sector and offer Tunisians additional access to international broadband networks and at reduced rates.

The new cable connection will use Alcatel-Lucent’s submarine technology and will be capable of handling data speeds of 100 gigabits-per-second, and will help address the fast-growing demand for fixed and mobile broadband services in Tunisia and throughout the region, and increase the reliability of the system dramatically. The submarine cable will provide the highest quality of service to subscribers of the two Tunisian operators by improving the capabilities of their existing international networks and providing better throughput to support continued growth in data traffic. The aim is also to provide more capacity and security for Internet users.

Tunisia has one of the most modern broadband infrastructures in the Mediterranean basin with high-speed terrestrial and undersea links providing a fully digitalized network that provides an international gateway to broader global networks. Tunisiana and Orange Tunisia offer a wide range of mobile and fixed applications ranging from Internet-on-the-go to information and entertainment services for more than 9 million subscribers.

With this investment partnership TUNISIANA and Orange Tunisia once again demonstrate their willingness to provide their consumers and business customers services in accordance with international quality standards. All this with controlled costs, allowing them to have substantial capacity voice and data and expanding opportunities in terms of connectivity, sharing data and information with the world.

Ken Campbell, CEO of TUNISIANA commented, “We are pleased to announce this important partnership. The Didon cable will provide increased capacity and better service to the 7 million consumers and businesses that rely on Tunisiana. This investment is also a testament to our belief in the potential for growth in Tunisia as a hub for the region.”

Didier Charvet, CEO of Orange Tunisie commented, “Orange Tunisie is delighted to announce the launch of this historic project. The Didon cable will enable Tunisian citizen to benefit from an increased capacity and a higher secured network connectivity. This investment is also a proof that Orange Tunisie believes in the development of the ICT sector and e-services in Tunisia.”

Philippe Dumont, President of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, said: “Good broadband communication infrastructure can energize economic growth, opening up new opportunities and increasing the reliability for e-commerce and e-government applications. The deployment of this new network will give a further boost to capacity and traffic protection in the Mediterranean hub.”

Gareth Williams, CEO, Interoute commented, “Interoute is proud to be involved in this exciting new project that aims to strengthen the ICT sector in Tunisia. Providing ultra-fast high capacity connectivity to European businesses and the Internet, should create new opportunities for commerce and innovation to help this dynamic sector expand.”

About Interoute Interoute Communications Ltd is the owner operator of Europe's largest cloud services platform, which encompasses over 60,000 km of lit fibre, 10 hosting data centres and 31 collocation centres, with connections to 140 additional third-party data centres across Europe. Its full-service Unified ICT platform serves international enterprises, as well as every major European telecommunications incumbent and the major operators of North America, East and South Asia, governments and universities. These organisations find Interoute the ideal partner for computing, connectivity and communications and developing new services. Its Unified ICT strategy has proved attractive to enterprises looking for a scalable, secure and unconstrained platform on which they can build their voice, video, computing and data services, as well as service providers in need of high capacity international data transit and infrastructure. With established operations throughout mainland Europe, North America and Dubai, Interoute also owns and operates dense city networks throughout Europe's major business centres. www.interoute.com