Dhiraagu to link Maldives with submarine cable network

Tuesday, 15 March 2011 21:17

Maldivian telecommunication giant Dhiraagu today entered into an agreement with NEC to lay a US$21 million (Rf278.8 million) fibre optic submarine cable network from North to South across the Maldives - the largest such network to be established in the island nation.

At a special ceremony held at Trader’s Hotel this afternoon, Dhiraagu’s Chief Executive (CE) Ismail Rasheed and NEC’s Executive Marketing Manager Koji Thakahashi signed the agreement to develop the network, which includes eight regions of the Maldives, connecting all parts of the country through a 1,017km fibre optic cable.

Speaking at the ceremony, Rasheed underscored the customers’ wish to have access to high-speed broadband internet access across the Maldives and said the new network would be a major milestone.

Rasheed stressed that a US$70 million project, which includes the submarine cable network, aimed at providing high-speed internet access to 95 percent of the Maldives’ population in five years will bring huge developments to the Maldives.

“Etablishing such a network would have positive impacts on the telecommunication, the development of the Maldives, and the living standards of the Maldivian people,” he said.

NEC, the same company that laid out Dhiraagu’s 837 km fibre optic cable between the Maldives and Sri Lanka in 2006, expressed pleasure for taking part in the second such project.

Thakahashi said the company will begin work in the southern region of the Maldives on Thursday and expressed confidence in completing the project within the 15-month agreement period.

“We were involved in such a project earlier and will be bringing the same team to the Maldives. It would not be difficult for them to carry out this project,” he said.

Thakahashi said the company would carry out a survey from south to the north before deciding on the first spot of the cable.

NEC, selected from eight companies that submitted proposals in the first phase and three companies in the second phase, is tasked to carry out the required surveys, producing the submarine cable and laying it out, bringing the equipment and linking the cable to eight regions of the Maldives, and establishing a perfect network.

The network includes Haa Dhaal atoll Kulhudhuffushi, Baa atoll Eydhafushi, Hulhumale, Alif Dhaal atoll Dhangethi, Laamu atoll Gan, Gaaf Dhaal atoll Gahdhoo, Seenu atoll Hithadhoo, and Fuvahmulah.

Dhiraagu has already established fibre optic submarine cable networks between Male, Hulhumale and Villingili, and Gaaf Dhaal atoll and Laamu atoll.

Dhiraagu also plans to improve its microwave network, 3G network, wireless broadband and internet network within a five-year period.

The company expects the new fibre optic network to make it easier for services such as telemedicine, e-health, e-government, and educational and business opportunities to be provided through modern technology in the Maldives. 


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