Panel questions African capacity needs

28 March 2012 |

An industry panel has speculated that Africa may still not have enough future capacity despite both the ACE and WACS cables being scheduled to launch this summer.

Speaking as host of the ‘Future of African Connectivity’ panel, Mike van den Bergh, CEO at Gateway Communications, said that the question industry leaders should be asking “is not about what to do with all this capacity, but do we have enough?”

Given the imminent launch of two high capacity cables on the West coast of Africa, some analysts had forecast that there would be an excess of capacity available on the continent. Bergh’s comments indicate that African operators may not agree with this.

The panel admitted it would be difficult to muster support for another African cable project in the shadow of both ACE and WACS. There has, however, been interest in providing connectivity between Africa and Latin America, with cable projects announced by both WASACE cable-co and Brazilian state telco, Telebrás.

The panel was led by Gateway with representatives from SES, WIOCC, Safaricom, and Convergence Partners. Also discussed was the issue of supplying connectivity cross-border to landlocked countries in Africa and the need to cooperate as a vital contributor to connecting the continent in the future.

For more information about ACE and WACS read our Africa’s West Side Story Feature