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Mauritius completes first phase of LION cable project

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Mauritius has announced the first phase of the Lower Indian Ocean Network (LION), an underwater fibre optics cable valued at € 37 million, that will link three islands of the Indian Ocean – Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion – to the rest of the world.

Financed by Orange Madagascar, Mauritius Telecom and France Telecom, the project is aimed at providing additional bandwidth capacity to the islands and eliminating the fallback of having only one landing station and therefore point of failure, thereby ensuring redundancy and security issues are covered.

“The introduction of this first network of optical cable allowed the development of ICT sector which today contributes no less than 6% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product”, Mauritius Prime Minister, Navinchandra Ramgoolam said at the launch of SAFE cable network, which connects the South African Far East.

LION is already connected to SAFE South Africa Far East, the second submarine cable landing in Mauritius, and will be interconnected to other major cable systems such as EASSy and The East African Marine System (TEAMS).

“Before the arrival of the SAFE cable network, the prices of connectivity were exorbitant. We would not have been able to attract the 310 global players and employ 12,000 professionals in five years if we were not connected to the SAFE network”, said Ramgoolam, adding that the new LION cable network would further increase bandwidth capacity and international prospects in the country.

LION is some 1,070kms in length and consists of two fibre pairs. The cable supports a total bandwidth capacity of 1.28 Tera bits per second.

Mauritius Telecom has invested € 8 million in the first phase of the project, which has an estimated total cost of € 37 million.

The second phase of the LION project was initiated in February this year and will see the cable extended to Mombasa in Kenya with landings in Comoros Archipelago (Mayotte) and Seychelles.

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