The construction of a new, high-capacity undersea cable on Africa’s eastern coastline is nearing completion, with nearly 9 000km of the system already having been installed in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.
The East Africa Submarine System, or Eassy, will be the second cable system along Africa’s east coast, after the Seacom cable went live in 2009. Eassy is being built by Alcatel-Lucent.
“By the end of today [Monday], over 8 800km of the Eassy submarine cable will have been installed,” according to the project’s official blog. “The northern [cable-laying] ship, the Ile de Sein, landed in Mombasa, Kenya on 22 March. The southern ship, the Ile de Batz, landed at Moroni in the Comores on 27 March.”
The cable will arrive as the Dar es Salaam landing station in the next week, with the joining of the two ends of the cable — “the final splice” — taking place later in April. Testing of the cable system will then begin.
Eassy, whose financial backers include SA companies MTN and Telkom, has already come ashore at Mtunzini, north of Durban, not far from the Seacom landing station. A third cable, the Safe system that connects SA with Asia, also lands in the coastal village.
Eassy, which will cost US$260m to construct, is expected to be ready for commercial service in the third quarter of 2010. — Staff reporter, TechCentral