NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – Kenya has now gotten a fourth submarine fibre optic connection to the world, when the Lower Indian Ocean Network cable (LION2) operated by Telkom Kenya went live.
Telkom Kenya Chief Executive Officer Mickhael Ghossein said LION2, whose laying cost over Sh5.7 billion (57 million Euros), is now operational and will significantly boost Kenya’s bandwidth capacity.
The cable lands in Kenya after The Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy), The East African Marine System (TEAMS) and SEACOM. It is a 2,700 kilometers long extension of the initial Lower Indian Ocean Network that connects Madagascar to the rest of the world, providing alternate onward connectivity from Kenya to Asia and Europe.
“Besides improving our services, LION2 will also play a great role in addressing redundancy, especially during outages like the ones experienced in March that impacted both TEAMs and EASSy, while in turn reassure the firm’s customers of business continuity, network stability and reliability,” said Ghossein.
LION2 extends from Mayotte, an island off the Indian Ocean Coast to Mombasa. It links East Africa to Madagascar, Mayotte and the Reunion Island, providing an opportunity for increased international traffic through Kenya which further strengthens the country’s positioning as a regional communication hub.
LION2 uses advanced technology for submarine cables – wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) and it will currently offer a maximum capacity of 1.28 terabytes per second (tbps) in future, this capacity can be increased without additional submarine work.
The construction of the LION2 cable represents a total investment of around Sh5.7 billion of which Sh3.8 billion comes from France Telecom and its subsidiaries.
The laying of LION2 cable began in the fourth quarter of 2010. Apart from LION2, Telkom Kenya has also invested heavily in other joint broadband infrastructure projects including TEAMS and EASSy submarine cables and terrestrial backbone and is currently expanding its high quality wireless network for both GSM and CDMA across the country.