RealTime IT News

Global Crossing Recruits Alcatel, IMPSAT For SAC Network

Fiber optic network builder Global Crossing Ltd. Tuesday inked a $700 million contract with France's Alcatel and a separate deal with Argentina's IMPSAT to extend the company's network to South America.

Alcatel will design, manufacture and install the South American Crossing (SAC) ring system with Global Crossing's marine division, Global Marine Systems Limited, guaranteed $100 million in contracts over the next five years. The subsidiary will also hold the option to provide marine operations.

IMPSAT won the contract for the trans-Andean ground links between cities and telehouses. The data transmission and telecom company will also buy Global Crossing network capacity worth $46 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, Global Crossing will also partner with IMPSAT for the network construction in each country connected to the SAC system and in Venezuela, which will be connected to the system in May of next year through a separate network project.

"We are very pleased to announce these agreements with Alcatel and IMPSAT," said Bob Annunziata, Global Crossing's chief executive officer. "These contracts are important steps for Global Crossing toward fulfilling our commitment to build out this critical part of our global network."

The Alcatel deal replaces a previous contract awarded to build the undersea system, according to Global Crossing.

The system will be connected underseas to Las Toninas, Argentina and Valparaiso, Chile and extended on land through Buenos Aires, Rosario, Cordoba, and Mendoza in Argentina and Santiago in Chile.

Lucent Technologies will supply optical networking equipment for the terrestrial portion of the project.

The trans-Andean system's initial services will be in place by the end of next year, and is expected to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2001. IMPSAT's initial broadband network rollout in Argentina and Brazil is expected to be in service by the middle of next year.

Global Crossing's network plans extends over five continents to cater to 80 percent of the world's Internet and data traffic. The company's Mid-Atlantic Crossing and Pan-European Crossing.