Alcatel to Build South American Undersea Network

Alcatel has been awarded a $700 million contract by Global Crossing Ltd. for a new high-capacity undersea telecommunications network around the South American continent.

The undersea cable loop known as the South American Crossing will link together Chile, Peru, Colombia, Panama, the US Virgin Islands, Brazil and Argentina when completed sometime in 2001.

In order to complete the loop, Alcatel will also be working with contractors to provide a terrestrial link, known as the Trans-Andean Crossing, between Las Toninas and Buenos Aires, Argentina and Santiago and Valparaiso in Chile.

Configured as a ring network, the system will provide high-capacity bandwidth for Internet and multimedia traffic as well as for data and traditional telecommunications services.

Jean Godeluck, chief of Alcatel’s submarine networks business, said the contract is part of its worldwide network expansion plan.

“We are delighted that our advanced technology, competitiveness and capabilities have led to Alcatel being chosen by Global Crossing to support the development of their worldwide network.”

Bob Annunziata, Global Crossing’s chief executive officer, said the contract with Alcatel was an important step in developing Latin American telecommunications markets.

“We are very pleased to announce the agreement with Alcatel” Annunziata said. “The contract is an important step for Global Crossing toward fulfilling our commitment to build out this critical part of our global network. This new partnership keeps our South American Crossing system on schedule towards its goal of giving businesses and consumers in Latin America’s largest cities assured access to worldwide broadband communications.”

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