Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Africa - SEACOM has now linked East Africa to Europe directly instead of via India

[business daily africa] Undersea cable operator Seacom has announced the completion of a new branch of its cable that will link the East African seaboard to Europe using a more direct route through the Red Sea.

The cable, which is already operational and currently accessible by countries along the eastern African sea-board, connects to Europe through India.

The new link, due to be completed on Wednesday, will now stream traffic through an additional fibre in the Arabian sea, resulting in faster connections to Europe and providing an alternate route for communications traffic on the network.

“This final configuration of the network will enable customers to get better services through the use of the shortest route to Europe. Currently, Seacom connects via India and onwards to Egypt and Europe through the SEA-ME-WE 4 cable,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

Seacom is one of three undersea cables that currently provide connectivity to Kenya, and is the only private owned project in the region, costing $650 million.

Seacom currently provides an express fibre pair link between Kenya and France as well as a second link from Tanzania to India.

The latest link is expected to boost the cable’s earnings from the World Cup, which kicks off next week.

Having gone live in July, 2009, Seacom is able to play a key role in ensuring that broadcasters at the 2010 FIFA World Cup benefit from a fully diverse route offering.

“This will not only meet FIFA’s stringent requirements but also ensure that South Africa is able to deliver world class quality and meet the heavy data requirements expected during an event of this magnitude,” said Brian Herlihy, Seacom CEO.

In March, Seacom announced that it had joined forces with Tata Communications to provide the critical international capacity to the broadcasters of the 2010 FIFA World Cup which starts on June 11, 2010.

Through the partnership, licensed FIFA broadcasters will be able to purchase a fully diverse and configured route running through the Seacom and SAT-3 undersea cable systems along the east and west coasts of Africa respectively.

Whilst offering the highest degree of backup to meet the stringent service levels of FIFA, the network also enables customers to connect directly from the International Broadcast Centre in Johannesburg to London or any of the 200 countries across 400 Points of Presence on the Tata Communications Global Network.

The two partners anticipate that a significant portion of international capacity used by FIFA broadcasters will be carried through their joint event network.

Seacom anticipates that the amount of data due to be streamed through its network as a result of the World Cup is likely to exceed the 21 terabytes sent during the 2006 games.

In 2006, voice and data traffic for teams, FIFA officials, local organisers, media and other event partners accumulated to over 7 million mp3s, 2.5 million PDF books, 2.2 million high resolution digital pictures or 22 000 full length movies.

Seacom switches on direct cable link to Europe

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