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
Operators to suffer $14bn in lost revenues this yearA new report has found that voice and messaging traffic lost to OTT (Over The Top) players such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Skype will cost network operators $14 billion in revenues globally this year. Read More
Wiko eyes 10% market shareNew entrant to Nigeria’s mobile phone industry and French firm, Wiko Mobile, says it is targeting 10 per cent of Nigeria’s market. Read More
TeliaSonera International Carrier strengthens connectivity in Western AfricaTeliaSonera International Carrier (TSIC) and Angola Cables have announced an IP Transit agreement that will enhance regional connectivity to TSIC’s customer base along the West African coast using Angola Cables’ significant submarine cable assets. Read More
We’ve built West Africa's strongest aerial fibre, says Phase 3 chiefThe Chief Executive Officer of Phase 3 Telecom, Mr. Stanley Jegede, says the firm has invested massively in building a very robust aerial fibre network to improve connectivity across the country and the entire West African sub-region. Read More
Orange launches reward scheme for corporate clientsOrange has introduced a loyalty programme for its corporate clients, dubbed Corporate Ziada. Read More
MTN Ghana launches fixed wireless phones for SMEsMTN Ghana has launched the Eazifon fixed wireless phone as an alternative to the traditional landline fixed phone for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Read More
Cameroon to increase telephone digits in NovemberThe number of telephone digits in Cameroon will be increased from eight to nine come 21 November 2014, the telecoms regulator, l’Agence de Régulation des Télécommunications (ART), announced recently at a press briefing. Read More
“Colossal disparity” between fixed, mobile penetration in AfricaThere is a “colossal disparity” between fixed and mobile communication penetration rates in Africa, according to analyst firm Frost & Sullivan. Read More
Preparing for the next evolution in the telecoms landscapeChange is coming to the telecoms market, as increased competition, reduced cost of services and changing business models pave the way for new services, new solutions and more pervasive communication to connect more users, more affordably, says Jasco. Read More
MTN notes ruling by International Arbitration PanelMTN Group has noted that a tribunal of independent arbitrators has ruled against Turkish mobile operator Turkcell, in the investor-state arbitration under a bilateral investment treaty case held in terms of the rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
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.
COMPANY NEWSVMware reports third quarter 2014 results
VMware, the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, today announced Year-over-Year Revenue Growth of 18% to $1.52 Billion in its financial results for the third quarter ...