Plans to build a super-fast submarine cable known as Africa-1, connecting South Africa and other African countries with countries in the Middle East, South-Central Asia and Europe, are underway.
News about the Africa-1 first emerged in April 2016 when MTN Group, PCCW Global, Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Telecom Egypt (TE) and Telkom South Africa signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) supporting the idea.
Report by CommsMEA says that the Africa-1 cable project remains on track, with operators and other contributors meeting on 11 December in Dubai to sign a construction and maintenance agreement. Apparently no one has been mentioned to be given the contract but the system is expected to be functional by early 2021.
The system will have at least 3-fiber pair core that extends over 12,000 km along Africa’s East Coast towards Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan, with up to an additional 5,000 km for branches. Africa-1 will have the latest state-of-the-art 100G technology and will be initially equipped to accommodate several terabits of capacity from day one. Along with interconnection with other cable systems and full Open Access at all cable landing points, Africa-1 will be designed to be attractive, delivering easy accessibility and a unique low-latency direct express route.
Apart from South Africa, the cable will land in other African countries among them, Kenya, Egypt, Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia and Madagascar.
Africa is an important emerging marketplace with ever-increasing opportunities arising from the positive socio-economic developments. Its connectivity with the rest of the world will facilitate the increasing capacity demands of a trade corridor with better levels of reliability to connect people and business in the world’s fast growing economies.
When it goes live, Africa-1 will be the largest-capacity route along Africa’s east coast and will compete head-on with the other two systems connecting countries along Africa’s eastern shoreline, namely Seacom and Eassy.