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
Airtel Kenya formally introduces the new Chairman of the BoardAirtel has formally introduced the new Chairman of the Board to management and staff of Airtel Kenya. Read More
Vodacom Business Nigeria expands to Ibadan, KanoVodacom Business Nigeria has announced the opening of new offices in Ibadan and Kano as part of the company's expansion plans. Read More
Glo gets govt recognition for investment, job creationNigeria’s national operator, Globacom has been listed as one of the top One Hundred Firms in Nigeria for the 2014 fiscal year. Read More
Airtel Rwanda partners with TechWomen on mentorshipAirtel Rwanda has kicked off a two-week mentorship programme in partnership with TechWomen Rwanda, an organisation that aims to encourage more women in Rwanda to take on careers in the fields of Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics. Read More
Orange Business Services appoints new Vice President, AfricaOrange Business Services, the Orange branch dedicated to B2B services, has announced the appointment of Giorgio Heiman as Vice President of Africa, effective this month. Read More
Kenya govt gives go-ahead for security networkThe Government of Kenya has signed a landmark agreement with Safaricom for the roll out of a first-of-its-kind National Surveillance, Communication and Control System. Read More
Econet-Ericsson in new network dealEricsson has announced that it has been selected as the sole supplier by Zimbabwe's largest provider of telecommunications services, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, for the company’s Core network upgrade programme. Read More
TNM courts trouble with investment prospects in ISPTNM, one of Malawi's two mobile telecommunication services providers, has courted trouble with its announcement of plans to invest in the provision of ‘generic’ Internet Service Provider (ISP) operations. Read More
Tigo deploys overhead fibre in GhanaTigo Ghana has embarked on an overhead fibre project in some parts of the country in a bid to reduce damage to its cables. Read More
Bharti Airtel appoints Dr. Titus Naikuni as Chairman, Airtel KenyaBharti Airtel has announced the appointment of Dr. Titus Naikuni as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Airtel Kenya. Read More
FEATURED STORYGSMA: half a billion mobile subscribers in SSA by 2020
The number of unique mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa will pass the half billion mark in 2020, says a new GSMA report.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.