Morocco’s Maroc Telecom, part of France’s Vivendi Universal group, has started deployment of an international high speed fibre-optic submarine cable between Morocco and Spain, named ‘Loukkos’, which is scheduled to be ready for service in March this year. Moroccan newspaper Le Matin reports that the telco’s self-funded MAD143 million (USD16 million) cable linking Asilah in Morocco with Rota, Spain, is being supplied by Alcatel-Lucent unit Alcatel Submarine Networks and CanaLink. The 187km cable will have an initial capacity of 80Gbps, upgradeable to 1.28Tbps, and is designed to add diversity and redundancy to Maroc Telecom’s international traffic routes as well as cope with increasing demand from broadband service users and the trend for international offshoring activities, particularly call centres.
TeleGeography notes that Maroc Telecom part-owns the existing Spain-Morocco undersea fibre-optic cable Estepona-Tetouan, while the telco wholly owns the Atlas Offshore submarine cable linking Asilah in Morocco with Marseille, France, which was completed in April 2007 under a MAD300 million contract with Alcatel-Lucent. The partly state-owned operator also provides landing stations for the SEA-ME-WE-3 consortium cable and the legacy Eurafrica (Morocco-Portugal-France) system. It is also currently engaged in a project to link its African subsidiaries with a land-based international cable system to span Morocco, Mauritania, Western Sahara, Gabon, Mali and Burkina Faso.