SEACOM lights up African undersea optical network

SEACOM announced its $650 million undersea fiber cable system that connects Southern and Eastern African countries with Europe and India is now up and running. Privately-owned SEACOM said the intention of the new cable is to reduce the cost of wholesale network capacity by more than 90 percent, which will enable South Africa's wireline and wireless service providers to offer enhanced products to their customers.

Getting connectivity in East African markets such as Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania has been a challenge. Service providers had to traditionally rely on costly satellite connections, but SEACOM says the new network will provide a 10x increase in bandwidth connections. SEACOM has completed links connecting Johannesburg, Nairobi and Kampala, while others are being planned for Kigali and Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa.

Daniel Torres, analyst at Delta Partners, a telecom consultancy based in Johannesburg, said in a Financial Times report that this new network eliminates an obstacle that inhibited increased growth of telecom services and competition in Southern and Eastern Africa. "This will have a very big impact," he said. "It has removed a very big bottleneck."

For more:
- Financial Times has this article

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