Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Terabit Capacity Cable Planned for West Africa

The West Africa Cable System (WACS) Consortium awarded a turnkey contract valued at several hundred million US dollars to Alcatel-Lucent deploy a new submarine cable network that will provide the first direct fiber connection between Southern Africa and Europe.

The project consists of a 14,000 km-long submarine network system linking South Africa to Portugal. The 11 parties that form the consortium are Angola Telecom, Broadband Infraco, Cable & Wireless, MTN, Portugal Telecom, Sotelco, Tata Communications, Telecom Namibia, Telkom SA, Togo Telecom and Vodacom. With commercial service expected in 2011, this new submarine cable system will also offer route diversity and bandwidth availability, and the first global submarine fibre connection to Namibia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Togo and the Republic of Congo.

Under the terms of the contract, Alcatel-Lucent will provide connectivity between South Africa and Portugal. With a minimum design capacity of 3.84 Tbps, WACS will connect South Africa to the UK with landings in Namibia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Cape Verde, the Canary Islands, and Portugal.