East African data cable lands in KZN

17 February 2010

The East African Submarine Cable System (EASSy), a 10 000km undersea fibre-optic cable system that will link countries along the continent’s eastern coast to the rest of the world, has landed at Mtunzini on the northern KwaZulu-Natal coast and will start service by August 2010.

Its 1.4 terabits-per-second system design capacity, coupled with its two fibre-pair configuration, equips EASSy with the highest capacity of all undersea cable systems along the east coast of Africa.

“EASSy is one of the elements of Telkom’s cable investment strategy and is a key step towards the process of establishing a Telkom fibre ring capability around Africa,” Telkom’s Alphonzo Samuels said in a statement last week. Telkom is the South African landing partner for the cable.

“EASSy further increases the robustness of Telkom’s international bandwidth offerings and portfolio,” Samuels said. “Together with other undersea cables and/or land-based fibre routes, EASSy creates redundant fibre access prospects into East Africa.”

According to a report by ITWeb this week, the cable will make its way from Mtunzini past Mozambique towards Tanzania, where it will connect to the other half of the cable, which is being built from Port Sudan on the north-eastern coast of Africa.

Improving African connectivity

In all, there are nine EASSy landing stations, in Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Comoros, Madagascar, Mozambique and South Africa, with shore-end landings having taken place so far in Mozambique and Sudan.

Interconnection with various other undersea international cable systems will enable traffic on EASSy to seamlessly connect to Europe, North and South America, the Middle East and Asia, thereby enhancing the east coast of Africa’s connectivity into the global telecommunications network.

“EASSy is routed from South Africa to Sudan, linking the coastal countries of East Africa,” Samuels said. “An extensive backhaul system linking landlocked countries to the coastal countries has been developed and is at various stages of completion.”

Telkom cable investments

Telkom’s cable investments included the trans-Atlantic COLUMBUS3, SEA-ME-WE3 (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe), SAT3/WASC/SAFE (South Atlantic Telecommunications/West Africa Submarine Cable/South Africa Far East), EASSy, EIG (Europe India Gateway) and WACS (West Africa Cable System).

“Our investments are geared by the participation of other operators and we firmly believe that investment sharing translates to better unit costs and improved customer prices,” said Samuels.

“Ultimately, we believe that EASSy will also go a long way towards increasing Africa’s bandwidth capacity, affordability and create increased diversity and fibre redundancy between South Africa and Europe as well as within East Africa.”

SAinfo reporter

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