French telecommunications equipment firm Alcatel-Lucent has announced that it will not sell its undersea cables unit, Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN), after previously agreeing a $17.6bn deal with Nokia.

The company will continue to operate its undersea cables business as a wholly owned subsidiary.

Alcatel-Lucent previously said that it will sell a majority stake in the unit to Nokia or list the business separately.

Continuing to execute its strategic roadmap, ASN is expected to pursue further diversification into the oil and gas sector.

According to Alcatel-Lucent, ASN has deployed more than 575,000km of fibre-optic cable systems globally to date, and maintained 330,000km of undersea systems.

"ASN has deployed more than 575,000km of fibre-optic cable systems globally to date, and maintained 330,000km of undersea systems."

With cable manufacturing and loading facilities in Calais, and repeater and branching unit production in Greenwich, UK, the business unit serves the oil and gas sector.

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It also offers services including traditional undersea telecommunications networks with ultra-broadband communications for offshore production facilities.

The services performed by the company’s fleet of seven cable-laying ships include project management, installation and commissioning, as well as marine operations and maintenance.

Last month, the undersea cables subsidiary secured an award to develop the Sonangol Offshore Optical Cable (SOOC).

The project would reduce the cost-per-bit associated with the delivery of data traffic to Angola, including its offshore oil and gas production facilities.

The SOOC undersea network covers 1,900km and will connect to landing points at four locations along the Angolan coast.

Further, it would allow the country’s oil and gas industry to benefit from large offshore data bandwidth.