[businessday] THE West Africa Cable System (Wacs ), a submarine telecommunications fibreoptic cable linking Southern Africa and Europe, is set to double SA’s broadband capacity when it is commissioned in the first quarter of next year, a statement from Wacs said yesterday.
Wacs aims to reduce the cost of connecting the west coast of Africa to the high-speed global telecommunications network.
It joins other submarine cables such as Seacom and the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System, also targeted at increasing bandwidth capacity and reducing the cost of communication in Africa.
The 14000km Wacs cable landed at Yzerfontein in the Western Cape yesterday and promises to raise SA’s broadband capacity by more than 500 gigabits per second .
Construction of the landing station will begin soon.
The cable was "designed to support present and future internet, e- commerce, data, video and voice services", and the capacity of the entire system was 5,12 terabits per second , the statement said.
The Wacs consortium is made up of shareholders from several countries. The local partners include Broadband Infraco, MTN, Telkom SA, Neotel and Vodacom Group.
The consortium does not expect the project to cost more than $650m .
According to Angus Hay, the co- chairman of the Wacs management committee, the system will meet the demand for capacity "well into the first quarter of the 21st century".
Andrew Shaw, the interim CEO of Broadband Infraco, said the cable will provide significant capacity and lower the cost of broadband in support of economic growth and innovative applications, such as e-education and e-health.
Undersea cable to lift Africa’s connectivity