Philippe Dumont is in charge of Alcatel-Lucent's submarine network business. The market for such deployments, he said, has remained "quite stable" over the last couple of recessionary years, which "came as quite a surprise" to Alcatel-Lucent.
Dumont said the biggest cabling project in the world right now is Africa, but the connectivity being deployed there will be quite different from what people in the U.K. are used to. "Access to the Internet in Africa is mostly based on mobile," he said. "You will not see DSL, but you will see mobile broadband through smartphones and USB dongles."
The biggest part of the traffic in such a deployment will come from consumers, followed by enterprise customers such as banks that have been somewhat cut off from the world's Internet infrastructure until now.
A big cable deployment can be worth around half a billion dollars, so telecom operators tend to invest in such projects through consortia, rather than on their own. According to Dumont, the competition between consortium members will drive down prices for end users.
September 5, 2010 6:00 AM PDT
Photo by: David Meyer/ZDNet UK
| Caption by: David Meyer
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