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
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
MTN Uganda marks 10m subscriber markHaving hit the 10 million subscriber base, MTN Uganda has announced that it is giving out 10 million minutes of free airtime and 100 million MB of data to its customers. Read More
Airtel Malawi launches thematic campaignAirtel Malawi has launched a new thematic campaign dubbed 'Muli Bwanji?' a local language greeting meaning 'How are you?' aimed at depicting the warmth and love that is synonymous with Malawians. Read More
Etisalat commissions flagship Experience Centre in AbujaEtisalat has commissioned a world class flagship Experience Centre in Abuja. Read More
Infrastructure, connectivity key to Africa’s smart citiesInfrastructure and connectivity are key to achieving the Smart City vision, say WSP and Ruckus Wireless. Read More
Glo offers subscribers 3-in-1 recharge optionGlo has unveiled a unique 3-in-1 Recharge Option to make the process of loading regular airtime credit, international calling packs and data bundles more convenient for its subscribers. 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 NEWSSchneider Electric trains 50,000 in energy management
Schneider Electric has trained more than 50,000 people in energy management as part of its BipBop energy access programme.