TELECOMS| May 11, 2012, 11:29 a.m.
The West African Cable System (WACS) cable has been officially launched in Cape Town, South Africa.
The USD650 million undersea cable runs along the West coast of Africa, starting at Yzerfontein near Cape Town, South Africa and terminating in the United Kingdom. It lands in Namibia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Cape Verde, the Canary Islands, Portugal and the United Kingdom, and promises better bandwidth to landlocked nations through networks running inland.
The cable has been developed by a consortium of 1 telecoms carriers, including Angola Cables, Broadband Infraco, Cable and Wireless Worldwide, Cabo Verde Telecom, Congo Telecom, the MTN Group, , Portugal Telecom, SCPT (DRC), Tata Communications, Telecom Namibia, Telkom SA, Togo Telecom, the Vodacom group and Vodafone Spain.
The 5,12 Tb/s system will bring additional bandwidth to regions already served by the SAT3, Glo1 and Main One Cable systems. It is widely hoped that the new cable will bring better bandwidth and help lower bandwidth prices, both along the coastline and inland.
MTN's Global Carrier Services' commercial relations lead for the WACS Consortium, Trevor Martins, says MTN is the largest investor in WACS, with commitments in excess of USD100 million. The company’s terrestrial component of the WACS network was completed last month. Kanaragaratnam Lambotharan, chief technology officer at MTN South Africa, notes that the MTN Group felt WACS would bring much-needed cost effective broadband capacity to the continent, bolstering Africa's efforts to achieve the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.
Vodacom said the launch marked an important milestone in its ongoing drive to unlock the power of the internet.
Noting that mobile penetration is far higher than fixed line coverage, Vodacom's Chief Technology Officer, Andries Delport said: "It's clear that mobile technology is the quickest and most practical route to spreading Internet access. With a high base of the population already covered, we only need to get two key things in place and South Africa can quite literally take a giant leap forward. The first part is obvious - cheaper smart devices that everyone can afford. The second part is to ensure that the mobile networks can support the data traffic."
"WACS is an important piece in that network puzzle. Vodacom is investing billions of Rands rolling out new base stations and connecting those base stations into our network via fibre-optic cables. That's fine when the data traffic is just buzzing around within SA, but can hit a bottleneck when it comes to getting data from international websites. WACS addresses this."
MORE TELECOMS NEWS
Significant improvements in network quality for Tigo customers on Accra-Takoradi routeFollowing the upgrade of its Microwave backbone between Accra and Takoradi telecom operator Tigo says its customers along the stretch will continue to enjoy a seamless connection every time there is a fibre cut. Read More
Airtel staff take to streets with ‘too much’ combo packsA team of staff and management of Airtel Ghana has embarked a rigorous concentrated market blitz to promote the company’s newly outdoored innovative product – “Too Much”. Read More
WIOCC, Dalkom Somalia win service innovation awardWIOCC and its shareholder Dalkom Somalia have won the Wholesale Service Innovation Award at the Global Telecoms Business (GTB) Innovation Awards Summit 2015 for bringing direct, high-capacity, international connectivity to Somalia for the first time. Read More
UNGC renews Safaricom CEO termThe United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has renewed Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore’s term as a Board Member of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). Read More
ITU marks 150th anniversary with global celebrationsITU celebrated its 150th anniversary on 17 May, marking a long and illustrious history at the cutting edge of communication technologies. Read More
Airtel launches MPLS for enterprise customersIn a significant move aimed at enhancing connectivity options for its corporate customers, leading telecommunications service provider Airtel Nigeria has launched a secure Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network aimed at facilitating superior and cost effective branch connectivity both locally and globally. Read More
Rwanda’s 4G LTE project scoops Global Telecom Business Innovation AwardThe Rwanda and Korea Telecom (KT) 4G partnership, through Olleh Rwanda networks and Nokia, has won the Global Telecom Business Innovation award. Read More
CEC Liquid Telecom acquires RealtimeCEC Liquid Telecom today announced the expansion of its business in Zambia following the full acquisition of Realtime, the second largest Internet Service Provider in Zambia. Read More
Tigo Tanzania announces management continuityTigo Tanzania has announced that Diego Gutierrez resumes as General Manager of Tigo Tanzania following the completion of the tenure of Interim General Manager Ms Cecile Tiano. Read More
Government fails to lift 20% tax on smart phones in GhanaHopes are fading that the government of Ghana will scrap the 20 per cent tax on the importation of smart phones. Read More
FEATURED STORYBuilding an African Dream: The Wyzetalk journey
Enterprise social networking company Wyzetalk examines the challenges and opportunities it encountered as a startup in Africa.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHNIMC infrastructure must be managed by credible people: NIMC chief
NIMC’s chief speaks to Kokumo Goodie about the role of the NIMC and his own legacy.
COMPANY NEWSMicrosoft, IICD launch employability hub in Ghana
Microsoft Ghana, in partnership with the International Institute for Communication and Development, has launched the TizaaWorks online platform, a one-stop online hub for employability and entrepreneurship.