Kenya to get fourth undersea fibre optic cable next year


Kenya will soon be hooked to yet another undersea fibre optic cable following the near completion of the laying of a France Telecom funded Lower Indian Ocean Network 2 (LION2).

The ship laying the LION 2 — which is set to be Kenya’s fourth undersea fibre optic cable — arrived in Mombasa last Tuesday, marking the completion of actual cable laying.

The cable will now be connected to a main submarine cable in international waters for testing, and is expected to go live in the course of the first half of next year.

The 56.5 million euros (Sh7.5 billion) LION2 will connect Kenya to Mayotte, Madagascar, Mauritius and La Reunion Islands.

LION2 is an extension of LION, which connects the Indian Ocean Islands to the world. The initial LION was laid in March last year.

France Telecom, through its subsidiaries in the region — Mauritius Telecom, Orange Madagascar and Telkom Kenya — is a major investor in the second phase of the cable and has put in Sh4.18 billion of the Sh7.5 billion.

The new cable will be a boost to Telkom Kenya, which is actively pursuing deployment of Internet infrastructure in Kenya after it launched a high speed 3G network last week.