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Cable & Wireless, the global telecommunications group, today (12 January
2001) announced it is building the world's most advanced Internet Protocol
(IP) transatlantic cable, known as Apollo, together with Alcatel, world
leader in intelligent optical networking, to meet growing IP and data

The new cable system is scheduled to begin service in the summer of 2002
and will make available to Cable & Wireless customers significant
bandwidth at lower cost, well in advance of competing systems using
similar technologies. It anticipates the huge demand for bandwidth that
analysts forecast to grow on average at around 100 per cent per annum , as
a result of the rapid adoption of business internet communications

Cable & Wireless' investment in the transatlantic system is £300 million
with additional project financing from Alcatel.

A major US communications company has already signed a letter of intent to
purchase one fibre pair, representing a quarter of the new cable system's
capacity. In addition, Cable & Wireless' dedicated carrier and service
provider channel, Partner Services, has non-disclosure agreements and
ongoing commercial negotiations with other potential purchasers.

"Cable & Wireless' role as the exclusive channel to market underlines the
success of our division dedicated to the service of our carriers and
service provider customers," said Mike McTighe, CEO Global Operations,
Cable & Wireless. "The bandwidth that Apollo will provide reflects our
phenomenal growth in IP and data traffic and our continued commitment to
becoming the leading global supplier of IP services to business customers

Apollo comprises two fully diverse submarine legs, four fibre pairs in
each, capable of at least 3.2 terabits per second of traffic transmission
on each leg - one third more capacity than other existing transatlantic
cable systems. The system will run for 13,000km under the Atlantic Ocean,
linking Long Island and New Jersey in the United States with Cornwall in
the UK, and Brittany in France. Marine operations are already underway.

The transatlantic system links directly with Cable & Wireless' seamless
high capacity infrastructure in the US and Europe, providing customers
with onward connectivity to communications destinations far beyond the
landing points.

Pioneer Annual Compound Rate (End 2000-End 2003) 118%

Yankee Annual Compound Rate (End 2000-End 2003) 77%

Advanced technologies

As the world's most advanced IP transatlantic cable system, Apollo can

· greater capacity: Apollo will be the first 80 wavelength transatlantic
system - which means Cable & Wireless can offer customers lower unit cost.

· greater resilience: Apollo is the first transatlantic system to use
Alcatel's enhanced cable protection design - which means it is less prone
to damage from external aggression, such as trawler damage. The system
echoes Gemini's dual leg architecture for extra resilience.

· full flexibility: depending on the customers' voice, data or IP
requirements, Apollo can be configured either as a standard ring
protection architecture or fully meshed - which means the customer can
determine for themselves the level of protection they require, up to the
latest optical protection switching equipment.

Chart comparing Apollo with other existing transatlantic cable systems.

System: Apollo

Owner: Cable & Wireless

Terminal Points: UK - USA,

France - USA, UK - France Interlink

Technology Wavelength x Line Speed: 80x10

Fibre Pairs Per Leg: 4

Trans-atlantic Legs: 2

T.Bit/s Per Leg: 3.20

System: Flag Atlantic-1

Owner: Flag Telecom

Terminal Points: UK\France - USA (Single US Landing)

Technology Wavelength x Line Speed: 40 x 10

Fibre Pairs Per Leg: 6

Trans-atlantic Legs: 2

T.Bit/s Per Leg: 2.4

System: 360Atlantic

Owner: 360 Networks (Worldwide Fiber)

Terminal Points: UK-Canada (Link to USA)

Technology Wavelength x Line Speed:48 x 10

Fibre Pairs Per Leg: 4

Trans-atlantic Legs: 2

T.Bit/s Per Leg: 1.92

System: Yellow

Owner: Level 3; Viatel; Global Crossing

Terminal Points: UK - USA

Technology Wavelength x Line Speed: 47 x 10

Fibre Pairs Per Leg: 4

Trans-atlantic Legs: 1

T.Bit/s Per Leg: 1.88

About Cable & Wireless

Cable & Wireless is a major global telecommunications business with
revenue of over £9 billion (US$14 billion) in the year to 31 March 2000
and customers in 70 countries. Its operations around the world offer a
full range of telecommunications services. Cable & Wireless' focus for
future growth is on IP (internet protocol) and data services and solutions
for business customers. It is developing advanced IP networks and
value-added services in the US, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region in
support of this strategy. With the capability of its global IP
infrastructure and its strength in key markets, Cable & Wireless holds a
unique position in terms of global coverage and services to business
customers. For more information about Cable & Wireless, go to

Cable & Wireless and the Globe Device are registered trademarks of Cable
and Wireless plc.

About Alcatel

Alcatel is the only vendor to master all optical network elements, from
optical components, optical fibers and DWDM systems to core routers and
network intelligence, and from terrestrial to submarine solutions. Alcatel
is also the only company to provide both terrestrial and marine services
for the installation and maintenance of global, seamless optical networks.

According to RHK's 2000 study, Alcatel holds the number two position in
global optical transport market with 20% market share, distancing itself
from all other competitors. RHK also reported that Alcatel reaffirms its
number one position in submarine networks with 41% worldwide market share.
Moreover, Alcatel claims to be the world leader in total terrestrial and
submarine DWDM systems, in digital cross-connects, which contain the
enabling technology for operators to offer high bandwidth services, and in
SDH networks.

Alcatel's optics business comprises terrestrial and submarine transmission
systems, fiber optics and optical components. Alcatel has launched a new
class of Alcatel stock which is intended to track the performance of
Alcatel Optronics, the Company's optical component business.

Alcatel is the world leader in delivering full turnkey submarine network
solutions and services. Alcatel leads this industry in terms of:

- having the highest sold capacity up to 8.4 Tbit/s for the long-haul
systems and 3.6 Tbit/s for the short-haul ones, using the latest DWDM

- having the largest manufacturing capacity at 85,000 km per year
strategically located around the Globe;

- managing 11 dedicated purposed-designed vessels for a tight control on
the delivery schedule, including marine maintenance.

Current contracts, worth US$ 5.8+ billion, include the most advanced
undersea networks in the world today: 360americas and FLAG Atlantic-1
systems in the Atlantic, the 360pacific, FLAG Pacifc-1, Japan-US and
Southern Cross transpacific systems, and the MAC and MAYA-1 systems in the
Americas and the SAT-3 around Africa.

Alcatel builds next generation networks, delivering integrated end-to-end
voice and data networking solutions to established and new carriers, as
well as enterprises and consumers worldwide. With 120,000 employees and
sales of EURO 23 billion in 1999, Alcatel operates in more than 130
countries. For more information, visit Alcatel on the Internet:

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