France Telecom announced that Sea-Me-We 3, the world’s longest submarine cable network, is commercially available.
The European telecom giant was the initiator and one of the principal sponsors of the project, which was launched in 1997 by a consortium of 92 international telecommunications operators.
The service launch covers segments linking Singapore to southern China, Australia and Europe, transiting via India and the Middle East. Spurs extending to Japan and Shanghai will enter service in September and November 1999, respectively.
The Sea-Me-We 3 system stretches nearly 40,000 km to link 33 countries on four continents: Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
According to French Telecom, the 39 landing points provide unprecedented connectivity, making a new communications resource available to about three-quarters of the world’s population, around 4 billion people.
Constructed in two and a half years, Sea-Me-We 3 utilized for its two fiber pairs wave division multiplexing (WDM) to send eight wavelengths at 2.5 Gbps. This gives the system a maximum capacity of 40 Gbps for transmission of voice, data and video traffic.
France Telecom is co-chair of the managing committee with China Telecom who together are responsible for project policy and strategic decisions.