November 6, 2006 (LBO) – An undersea optical fibre cable between Sri Lanka and the Maldive Islands could be the first leg of a trans-Indian Ocean cable system that would link Africa with the Far East, officials said. The cable laying ship is expected to reach Maldives on the 12th and the cable terminated in Male and two other islands. A 20 million dollar joint venture with Sri Lanka Telecom and Dhiraagu Telecom of Maldives, the 850 kilometre cable is due to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2007.
œThis cable has a 10 Gigabit capacity, but it can be expanded to 1 terabit because there is a possibility that we can connect to the African side, via Maurtius,
Seychelles, Madagascar and also South Africa, Shuhei Anan Chief Executive of Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) told Lanka Business Online shortly after a cable laying ship set off towards the Maldives from the West coast of Sri Lanka.
SLT is a 35 percent owned NTT company listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange.
Sri Lanka’s dominant fixedline operator is connected to SEA-ME-WE (South-East-Asia Middle-East Western-Europe) cable systems and also to India via a joint venture cable