West Africa cable ‘online by 2011’

5 May 2009

The US$600-million, 14 000km West Africa Cable System linking southern and western African countries with Europe should be in service by 2011, providing high capacity international bandwidth and further reducing telecommunications costs on the continent.

A consortium of leading African and foreign telecoms operators signed a construction and maintenance agreement with manufacturer Alcatel-Lucent last month to construct the 8.84-terabit-per-second, fibre-optic submarine cable and its landing points.

Companies that signed the agreement include South Africa’s Broadband Infraco, MTN, Tata Communications/Neotel, Telkom and Vodacom, as well as Angola Telecom, Cable & Wireless, Telecom Namibia, Portugal Telecom, Sotelco and Togo Telecom.

“The West Africa Cable System represents a significant telecommunications infrastructure investment through a joint effort of a number of African and global operators,” Vodacom Group CEO Pieter Uys said in a statement last month.

The cable system would provide Africa with “faster and better connectivity to Europe and the rest of the world,” Uys said, with “ample capacity to serve the region’s international connectivity needs for many years to come.”

Planned landing points for the cable include South Africa, Namibia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Republic of Congo, Canary Islands, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Cape Verde, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

The landings in Namibia, the DRC, the Republic of Congo and Togo will provide these countries with their first connection to a global submarine cable network.

SAinfo reporter

Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material