WACS Phase 1 upgrades complete

Upgrades on Phase 1 of the West Africa Cable System (WACS) cable from South Africa to Portugal and Portugal to United Kingdom have been completed.

Telecom Namibia, a member of the WACS consortium, said the capacity upgrade was being done by Huawei Marine, a global submarine network provider, in two phases.

Phase 1 focused on the upgrade of Fibre Pair 1 known as the Express Fibre Pair between South Africa and Portugal. This phase was completed and provisionally accepted by the WACS consortium on 30 July 2015. This resulted in the addition of 9 x 100G wavelengths to the system between South Africa and Portugal, in addition to the existing/initial 24 x 10G wavelengths.

The exercise has increased Telecom Namibia’s WACS capacity share from 11% (Initial Allocated Capacity) to 28% (Initial Allocated Capacity plus Phase 1 Allocated Capacity).

Phase 2 implementation is well on schedule for completion by end September 2015, said Telecom Namibia. This will result in the adding of 8 x 100G wavelengths to the system across the three fibre pairs, that is, in addition to the existing/initial 32 x 10G wavelengths. This will increase the capacity of the upgrading parties from 11% to 45% of their total capacity entitlement of the WACS system design capacity.

Phase 2 focuses on the upgrade of Fibre Pair 2 (South Africa to Nigeria to Portugal), Fibre Pair 3 (South African to Angola to DRC to Ivory Coast to Portugal) and Fibre Pair 4 (All WACS Landing Stations including Swakopmund Landing Station).

With regards to the Swakopmund Landing Station, additional 4 x 100G wavelengths will be added on top of the existing/initial 8 x 10G wavelengths.

Phase 2 will further increase Telecom Namibia’s capacity share from 28% to 45% which is the total Telecom Namibia’s capacity entitlement for this current upgrade. Subsequent upgrade phases will be implemented in the future depending on the future bandwidth demand until all WACS parties reach their 100% WACS design capacity entitlement.

Commissioned in 2012, WACS is the largest submarine cable directly linking Southern Africa to Europe and is the culmination of investment by eighteen leading international operators and regional carriers. At 14,530 km in total length, WACS initially offered a design capacity of 5.12 Terabits per second (Tb/s) split among fourteen countries including: South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cape Verde, Spain (Canary Islands), Portugal and the United Kingdom.

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