Orange’s new subsea cable will boost connectivity and offer unique research opportunity for volcanologists in the Indian Ocean

Published: 19 January 2020 - 8:07 a.m.
By: CommsMEA staff writer

Orange has announced that it has signed an agreement with the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP), to provide the seismic research firm with a fibre pair on its FLY-LION3 (Lower Indian Ocean Network) cable.

The fibre pair will allow the IPGP to monitor seismic activity in the highly volcanic region.

“Whilst the use of optical fibre to monitor infrastructure has been common for around twenty years, with sensors located on portions of fibre, scientists are looking to exploit the different intrinsic backscatter of fibre as sensors to acquire information on its environment (temperature, pressure, stress, vibration, etc). Optical fibres themselves can be used as a sensor, known as Fibre Optic Sensors (FOS),” an Orange spokesperson said in a statement to the press.

The IGPG will take heat, sound and vibrational measurements along a 50km stretch of the cable, hoping to gain an insight into the turbulent seismic activity in the region. In 2018, the island chain was hit by a series of forceful earthquakes, which led to the discovery of a new underwater volcano off the coast of Mayotte. Following the discovery, the Mayotte Volcano and Earthquake Monitoring Network” (REVOSIMA) was founded in the summer of 2019.

The 400km long FLY-LION3 cable will boost connectivity between the remote islands of Mayotte and Grande Commore, located off of Africa’s eastern coast, between Mozambique and Madagascar. It will allow businesses and consumers in the region to access faster, lower latency broadband services.

Orange is one of the biggest European investors in the East Africa and Indian Ocean’s telecoms sectors, and has played a key role in bringing connectivity to some of the world’s most underserved population.

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