Cable to link west Africa to south America

South African company eFive Telecoms has announced plans to build a submarine cable network linking Africa’s west coast to south America.

The proposed network, which Alcatel-Lucent has been contracted to build, will feature two trunks, one connecting South Africa to Angola and Nigeria, with the second linking Angola to Brazil. eFive is a business partner of Main One, which has just launched a subsea link from Nigeria to the UK, the first open access system on the continent’s west coast.

eFive Telecoms managing director Lawrence Mulaudzi said the cable will provide route diversity for those looking for connectivity between Africa and south America.

Alan Mauldin, research director with analyst firm Telegeography, said the only other cable operating on the Latin America to Africa route is the 10-year-old Atlantis-2 system, connecting Argentina and Brazil with Cape Verde, the Canary Islands, Senegal, and Portugal: “It’s not yet clear how much demand there is for a new high capacity cable on that route,” he said. “Most African traffic is expected to head for Europe where there is plentiful cheap IP transit. eFive may of course have already secured customers for some of its capacity.”

“Growth in African internet and mobile telephony is driving service providers’ demand for more connectivity options to ensure higher reliability, as well as increased widespread access to bandwidth,” said Philippe Dumont, head of Alcatel-Lucent’s submarine network division. “This project will further position Africa as a major hub for broadband connectivity.”

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