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New York-based telecommunications company Viatel Inc is to build a trans European high speed fiber optic network it’s calling Circe, to link up its operations in European market. Circe, which is due to become operational during 1999, will cover Belgium, France, Netherlands and the UK, and will be built using optical wavelength division multiplexing technology with a capacity of 20-Gigabits per second. Viatel has not revealed the amount of investment planned, but is looking for another investor in the project. It wants to maintain ownership of the cable for competitive and cost reasons. Viacom believes it can significantly undercut incumbent telecoms operator through using an international continuous fiber network that avoids interconnect and financial settlements each time a border is crossed, making running costs significantly cheaper. WorldCom Inc is following a similar strategy with its Ulysses European cable project. Like WorldCom, Viatel will sell capacity to other operators, and use some itself.

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