Plans to build a superfast submarine broadband cable connecting South Africa and countries in the Middle East, South-Central Asia and Europe, are forging ahead, according to reports.
News of the planned system first emerged in April 2016. At the time, South African operators MTN and Telkom had voiced their support for it. However, Telkom told TechCentral it had since decided not to participate; MTN didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
CommsMEA reported that the Africa-1 cable project remains on track, with operators and other parties meeting on 11 December in Dubai to sign a construction and maintenance agreement. The report did not say who has been contracted to do the work, but said the system is expected to be operational by early 2021.
Africa-1 will have a system length of more than 20 000km, making it one of the largest submarine cables in the region.
According to CommsMEA, the system is expected to land in Marseille (France), Mombasa (Kenya) and Durban (South Africa).
There will also be cable landing stations in Sidi-Krir and Zaafarana in Egypt, Port Sudan in Sudan, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Djibouti City in Djibouti, Mogadishu in Somalia, Mombasa in Kenya, the island of Mayotte, Mahajanga in Madagascar, Fujairah in United Arab Emirates, and Karachi in Pakistan.
Some of the operators backing the project are Sudatel, Etisalat and STC.
The project’s backers had originally hoped to have the cable system in service by the third quarter of 2017. Reports at the time said the cable would use at least 100G wavelength technology to allow for several terabits per second of capacity to be commissioned when the system went live.
When it goes live, it will be the largest-capacity route along Africa’s east coast and will compete head-on with the other two systems connecting countries along Africa’s eastern shoreline, namely Seacom and Eassy. — (c) 2019 NewsCentral Media