The Sat-3/Safe submarine telecommunications cable system that links SA with Portugal and Malaysia has been upgraded to between 340Gbit/s (SA to Portugal) and 440Gbit/s (SA to Malaysia) to cater for growth in demand for international bandwidth.
Telkom executive for global capacity business, Johan Meyer, said on Monday morning that the additional capacity is now in service. Sat-3/Safe had an original design capacity of 120-130Gbit/s but new technologies have allowed the consortium that owns the cable — Telkom is the largest investor — to upgrade the capacity by deploying additional wavelengths in the cable’s fibre.
The upgrade represents a giant increase in equipped capacity since 2001, when SA was served only by the 1Gbit/s Sat-2 cable system.
Meyer says the construction of additional cable systems, the East Africa Submarine System (Eassy) and the high-capacity West African Cable System (Wacs) — Telkom is an investor in both systems — is on track.
The 1,4Tbit/s Eassy system, which will link SA with Djibouti and onward on the Europe India Gateway cable to the UK and India, will be ready for service in mid-2010. Wacs, which has a design capacity of 5,1Tbit/s, is on track for delivery in mid-2011, Meyer says.
“One thing is for certain: capacity prices will continue to be under tremendous pressure as these cables arrive,” says Meyer.
Telkom has also reduced the price of international connectivity. It announced on Monday that it had introduced a dedicated STM-1 (155Mbit/s) circuit, providing connectivity from Gauteng to London, for R599 000. This circuit does not, however, offer a redundant link along Safe. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral