Africa’s EASSy cable set for upgrade

31 January 2014

French telecommunications company Alcatel-Lucent is set to upgrade the 10 000-kilometre EASSy submarine cable system linking South Africa to Sudan with the latest 100 gigabit-per-second (Gb/s) technology.

Announcing the upgrade last week, the company said the upgrade would ultimately enable the system to carry capacity in excess of 10 terabits per second, boosting ultra-broadband capacity in eastern and southern Africa and strengthening its connectivity with Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

“Since EASSy entered service in 2010, we have seen enormous growth in demand for capacity on the system”, EASSy management committee chairman Chris Wood said in a statement.

“This upgrade will add an additional 400Gb/s per second of capacity throughout the system, using Alcatel-Lucent’s advanced coherent 100Gb/s technology, and enables us to take a further step in offering our customers the ultra-broadband capacity needed for innovative services and applications.”

The Eastern African Submarine Cable System (EASSy) is owned and operated by a group of 17 shareholders, 92% of which are African – including South Africa’s MTN, Neotel, Telkom and Vodacom – and 8% of which international.

The system directly links eight countries from Sudan to South Africa via Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Comores and Mozambique, interconnecting with a number of international cable networks for connectivity to Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia

EASSy investors, along with others, are continuing to extend the system’s connectivity inland into Africa via terrestrial fibre networks linking coastal and land-locked countries to the cable.

SAinfo reporter