OPT, the telecommunications operator for French Polynesia, and Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), part of Nokia, have signed a turn-key agreement for the deployment of the NATITUA cable system, which will further enhance connectivity in French Polynesia.

NATITUA will also enhance the availability and accessibility to high quality, innovative broadband applications such as telemedicine, e-learning and on-line tourism programs for remoted islands' end-users.

NATITUA will extend the overall existing infrastructure HONOTUA cable system which connects Tahiti to Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea and Bora Bora on a domestic level and Tahiti to Hawaii internationally.

NATITUA project is a global project which aims to provide high connectivity to twenty islands through the submarine cable system and microwave networks to reduce the digital divide between islands connected to the current submarine cable system, Honotua, and other islands.

The submarine cable part of the NATITUA project will span over 2500 km connecting Tahiti to eight atolls in the archipelago of Tuamotu - Rangiroa, Manihi, Takaroa, Kaukura, Arutua, Fakarava, Makemo and Hao - and two islands of Marquisas - Hiva Oa and Nuku Hiva. Providing an ultimate design capacity of over 10 Terabits-per-second (Tbit/s).

The President of French Polynesia, M. Edouard Fritch, in charge of telecommunications, said, "I wish French Polynesia could embrace the digital age and become a nation of smart islands in the forthcoming years and NATITUA is a further step towards this objective."

Jean-François Martin, OPT President and CEO, said, "This is a further step for French Polynesia as OPT aims to continue to improve access to information and services that are migrating to digital formats. Alcatel Submarine Networks' technology will serve as a base for delivering new applications that will help fuel cultural, economic and social development, as well as broadly extending the benefit of digital economy, for our community."

Philippe Piron, President of Alcatel Submarine Networks, said, "This contract confirms Alcatel Submarine Networks' commitment to helping customers like OPT bridge the digital divide and foster sustainable growth. ASN's solutions give access to advanced technologies for delivering high added-value broadband services and applications that stimulate cultural and socio-economic development."

The solution to be deployed by Alcatel Submarine Networks will include the 1620 SOFTNODE, which incorporates multiple transmission formats to maximize delivered capacity at the lowest cost per bit, and ROADM branching unit, which is part of ASN's product portfolio also including Wavelength Selective Switch technology (WSS). As part of the contract, ASN will also be in charge of project management, system design, marine operations and system commissioning.

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