Nokia mulls selling undersea cables division

Telecoms network giant Nokia Corp plans to sell its undersea cables division, Reuters yesterday reported, citing two union and one French government source.

The undersea cables division, which is valued at about €800 million ($870 million), was purchased by Nokia last year as part its €15.6-billion ($17 billion) acquisition of French rival Alcatel.

The division still known as Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), employs about 1,000 people, mainly in France and Britain, and produces, deploys and maintains submarine cables.

Nokia had earlier said that it was considering strategic options for ASN and had hired audit firm EY to review it for a potential sale.

With more than 160 years of experience in submarine cable system experience and 25 years of fibre optic expertise, ASN is the world's only fully integrated provider of turnkey submarine network solutions.

From new deployments to network upgrades, regional links to transoceanic infrastructure, ASN provides route selection and surveying through system design, manufacturing, installation and maintenance.

It has laid more than 590,000 km of cable, has more than 330,000 km of cable under maintenance, delivered more than 200 fiber optic cable systems, and has a fleet of seven fully equipped cable ships.

It has its cable manufacturing facility in Calais, France, the largest in the world, with a production capacity of 3500 km of cable per month.