Between 2009 and 2010, Africa’s total international Internet bandwidth climbed by 78%, reaching a combined 520Gbit/s by December last year, according to data published by Hamilton Research.
The growth has come about as a result of the construction of several undersea cables and increased focus on national capacity on the continent.
The Western African Cable System (Wacs) landed in the west coast town of Yzerfontein earlier this month, and will soon add to the international capacity already brought to African shores by the East African Submarine System, Seacom and Sat-3/Safe. Wacs will be available for commercial use early next year.
International access has been complemented by national fibre routes connected to undersea cables across the continent.
Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, SA, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe have all benefited from extensions to their national fibre backbones. Hamilton Research has added 17 232km of fibre to its Africa telecoms transmission map, which also shows 14 417km of fibre under construction and an additional 11 148km planned or proposed. This capacity has been bolstered by microwave networks.
“As an example of the speed at which terrestrial fibre routes are being built, landlocked Zambia had 3 671km of fibre under construction during the first quarter of 2011 and will have four separate international fibre routes to submarine cables by the end of this year,” the report says. — Staff reporter, TechCentral
- Image courtesy of Seacom