WACS launches in Botswana
TELECOMS| Sept. 12, 2012, 11:09 a.m.
By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana
The West African Cable System (WACS) has been finally launched in Botswana. The Botswana 2012 ICT Pitso would have been incomplete without this very important pronouncement which, not surprisingly, had attracted a full house. In today’s global village, high speed reliable internet connectivity is a prerequisite for any country to have any meaningful competitive edge.
The BTC Group CEO, Paul Taylor, who gave a detailed synopsis of the WACS journey, said: “The government of Botswana through BTC invested USD37.5 million in the USD650 million undersea submarine communication cable linking Africa and the UK along the West Coast of Africa, an investment made jointly with the Government of Namibia who also contributed USD37.5 million.”
Both Botswana and Namibia own approximately 9.2% of the entire project, which according to Taylor; will be operated on an open access basis with other stakeholders. It is envisaged that WACS, which was successfully landed at Swakopmund, Namibia on February 8, 2011 is geared towards changing the lives of the peoples of the two nations and also the other part as well.
“It will enhance Botswana’s international connectivity by providing the nation with high quality and reliable internet and telephony services,’ explained Taylor. This undersea cable system carries data, voice and video faster and cheaper thereby providing users with enhanced direct international submarine cable connectivity.
Botswana and Namibia signed a cooperative agreement on May 14 2009, governing their joint investment and participation in the WACS project to deliver the vision of enhancing high speed, lower cost connectivity to the world to enable economic growth and diversification, thereby creating a platform for increased prosperity for citizens.
This development of the WACS began in 2009, the cable covers a distance of 14 000 kilometres, with 15 established landing Stations along the route. It will function to reduce the cost to connect the West Coast of Africa into the high-speed global Telecommunications network for many years to come according to ICT pundits.
This cable which is designed to support present and future internet, e-commerce, data, video and voice services was officially inaugurated on June 26 in Swakopmund by the Pesidents of the two countries.
Through Telcom, Namibia will operate and maintain the cable landing station, BTC and other stakeholders will have access to the facility and be able to ‘co-locate’ their services within the station. “Earlier this year we signed agreements which will enable BTC to use Telcom Namibia’s network to access BTC’s capacity at Swakopmund landing station,” elaborated Taylor.
In addition, Taylor said “Taking cognizance of the fact that WACS will be operational for the next 25 years, BTC has invested about $12 million in expanding its Trans-Kalahari fibre national backbone network through a new transmission platform called Dense Wavelength Division Multiplex (DWDM) providing a major path between Botswana and Namibia.”
In order to provide resilience such that the network is always available to the customers, BTC will ultimately be connecting to Namibia through two different routes namely the Mamuno/ Buitepos border post to form a ring network. “This will provide the required resiliency and availability of service in case of failures in one route."
MORE TELECOMS NEWS
Tigo supports 19th Ghana journalist awardsMobile Network Operator Tigo Ghana has presented 10 tablets valued at GHC20,000 to the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) towards the annual Journalist Awards scheduled to take place at the Banquet Hall, State House, Accra. Read More
Africell DRC to launch 3G services end-2014Africell DRC is set to launch its 3G services at the end of the year, a source close to the company told Biztechafrica this week. Read More
The impact of Movitel on ICT in MozambiqueMovitel is reported to be contributing to changing the information communication landscape in Mozambique. Read More
SSA telecoms growing faster than any other regionThe African telecoms market is set to be one of the main growth success stories for the telecoms sector in the next 5 years, according to a new report. Read More
Tigo introduces unified short code for products and servicesTigo Ghana has announced the installation of a world-class IVR (Interactive Voice Response) that will give both its pre-paid and post-paid customers the opportunity to access all its product through a unified short code, 555. Read More
TNM to conduct biggest promotion pay-outTNM will on August 26 splash out over K100 million in its Ufulu@50 Promotion, the biggest payout in a single day in the history of promotions in Malawi. Read More
We don’t patronise fake OEMs, says GloGlobacom has said it does not patronise substandard original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and telecoms equipment vendors. Read More
Africell DRC waits ‘in vain’ for interconnectionAfricell, which began operations in the DRC in June 2012, has yet to enjoy interconnection. Read More
Telecom Namibia: WACS repairs to start this weekendRepair work on the West Africa Cable System (WACS) off Namibia’s coast is scheduled to start over the weekend, says Telecom Namibia. Read More
FEATURED STORYNigeria’s VAS providers ‘on brink of extinction’
WASPAN chief Simon Aderinlola says unless the regulator intervenes, WASPAN may not have anything left to regulate. Kokumo Goodie reports.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture
In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.
COMPANY NEWSSage CRM is Umsinsi Health Care’s engine for growth
Umsinsi Health Care, a distributor of medical products, has enhanced customer service and streamlined its business processes by implementing Sage CRM as its customer relationship management platform.