Orange announced that SEA-ME-WE 6 (SMW6) submairne cable system had landed onto Prado beach in Marseille on Monday April 27, 2024. This is the first landing of the SMW6 cable system. Following the landing in Marseille, work will begin on the installation of more than 3,000 kilometers of cable to bring the system to Egypt. 

Spanning 21,700 kilometers and designed using the latest submarine fiber optic technologies, this SMW6 cable system will offer very high speeds and very low latency , to meet the growing needs of our customers and the digital economy along this strategic route.  This SMW6 cable system will offer a capacity of over 130 Tbps. 

SEA-ME-WE 6 cable map
SEA-ME-WE 6 CABLE MAP, SOURCE: SMW6 CONSORTIUM

 

The SMW6 consortium includes Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL), Bharti Airtel Ltd. (India), Dhivehi Raajjeyge Gulhun Public Limited Company (Dhiraagu Maldives), China Unicom (China), Djibouti Telecom, Mobily (Saudi Arabia), Orange (France), Singtel (Singapore), Sri Lanka Telecom, Telecom Egypt, Telekom Malaysia, Telin (Indonesia), Trans World Associates (Pakistan), and Batelco. 

Orange is the landing party in France and is hosting the cable in Marseille in its secure infrastructure, providing neutral access to all the city's data centres via a state-of-the-art urban fibre optic ring.

For the landing of the SMW6 cable in Marseille, Orange has taken a sustainable project management, from design to deployment, to respect and protect the environment.

As part of its corporate strategy, Orange is particularly committed to protecting the environment and preserving biodiversity in all its infrastructure projects. Orange has therefore worked closely with government departments, the region and all local players on the route of the Sea-Me-We-6 submarine cable and its landing in Marseille.

Environmental studies and geophysical surveys (in particular of the marine biocenoses) have been carried out  in order to take into account the high environmental constraints of the most sensitive maritime areas, in particular the  coralligenous zones, the Posidonia seagrass meadows (Posidonia Oceanica) and the Marseille underwater canyon. At certain points, the route has been optimized to follow the seabed topography as closely as possible and avoid the species that have been observed (e.g. noble pen shells) by using sandy areas. In sensitive areas, specially designed anchors will be used to fasten the cable  to the seagrass meadows at regular intervals to avoid  drag phenomenon.  During landing operations, the cable will use existing infrastructure to avoid any additional impact.  

For the subsequent laying operations, the vessel will sail at a reduced speed and particular care will be taken to preserve the seagrass meadows. 

In-situ inspections by divers and regular environmental monitoring over several years are planned until the cable is dismantled, which will be carried out in accordance with current administrative procedures.