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Alcatel-Lucent wins Orascom contract

Telecoms equipment maker to lay 3,850 km submarine cable network linking Egypt, Italy and Saudi Arabia.

Egypt's Orascom Telecom has signed a turnkey contract with telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent to lay the Mediterranean Sea segment of a new Middle East North Africa submarine cable network.

The 3,850 km network, which is due to be complete by the first quarter of 2009, will link Egypt, Italy and Saudi Arabia, and is expected to greatly increase international and regional connectivity.

Alcatel-Lucent will be responsible for the turnkey rollout of the Egypt to Italy segment that will have landing points in Alexandria, Egypt and Mazara del Vallo in Sicily, Italy.

"[The network] will enable improved international connectivity to support new, high-speed services and bring us an important step closer to delivering the much needed international bandwidth services to the Middle East and Asia through Orascom Telecom's several companies around the world," said Orascom Telecom CEO Naguib Sawiris in a statement.

The value of the agreement was not disclosed.

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