France Telecom-Orange announces the start of operations of IMEWE,the new broadband submarine cable linking the Middle East to India and Europe

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The new IMEWE submarine cable (India Middle East Western Europe) was officially turned on or “lit” on10 December 2010. The cable serves eight countries: India, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, SaudiArabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Italy and France.
The France Telecom-Orange group brought together several major partners in an international consortium to bring the project to fruition, including Bharti, Etisalat, Ogero, Pakistan Telecom, SaudiTelecom, Telecom Egypt, Telecom Italia Sparkle and Tata Communications.

More than 13,000 km of optical fibre cable between Asia, the Middle East and Europe
With this cable, France Telecom-Orange supports the strong growth of the Indian subcontinent by providing new transmission capacities to its customers, and will be in a position to cover demand for years to come. It will also provide Middle Eastern countries with a new point of access to international broadband networks.In addition, IMEWE constitutes an alternate route for secure broadband telecommunications carried by the Sea-Me-We 4 cable linking Southeast Asia to Western Europe, in which the Group is also an investing partner. This diversity helps strengthen the performance of all of France Telecom-Orange’s networks.

IMEWE takes advantage of the most effective technology now in use in the submarine cable field:wavelength division multiplexing (WDM), which allows capacity to be increased based on demand withoutadditional submarine work. It has a potential capacity of 3.84 Tb/sec. Moreover, the system was designed to migrate towards the new 40 Gb/sec technology that will support tomorrow's ultrabroadband
networks.A major asset in the Group's global broadband  networkThe construction of the IMEWE cable represented a total investment of around 480 million US dollars,
about 60 million dollars of which came from France Telecom-Orange.

France Telecom-Orange is also a stakeholder in the deployment of the ACE cable (Africa Coast to Europe) on the Atlantic side of the African continent, which will link South Africa to France in 2012 by connecting twenty-three countries.