Maroc Télécom said on Thursday that it is beginning construction of the Atlas Offshore submarine fibre-optic cable, linking Asilah in northwest Morocco and Marseilles in southern France. The Moroccan telco is partnering France’s Alcatel Submarine Network in the USD34 million project, which aims to meet an increasing demand for international broadband capacity and voice traffic. The planned cable will be 1,634km long, with an initial capacity of 40Gbps. This could be expanded to 320Gbps if required in the future. The company said that call centre traffic was likely to rise as the cable will have capacity to transmit 500,000 simultaneous calls, with positive spin-offs for the Moroccan economy. The cable would be ready to launch commercial services by March next year, Télécom announced.
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