Djibouti Telecom to take capacity on new Australia West Express cable

18 January 2017 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


Djibouti Telecom is to invest in GoTo Networks’ new subsea cable linking the Australian city of Perth and Djibouti at the southern end of the Red Sea.

GoTo Networks, which is focusing on the development of new cable systems to greenfield or underserved markets, says the Djibouti Telecom will also take capacity on its new Australia West Express (AWE) cable, which will land in Djibouti Telecom facilities and enter service at the end of 2018.

John Mariano, CEO of GoTo Networks, said: “Djibouti Telecom has provided important support to the AWE project throughout its planning phase. Now that we are nearing the beginning of the project, we are pleased in their investment in AWE, and their agreement to procure capacity between Djibouti and Perth.”

The companies did not provide figures for how much Djibouti Telecom is investing in AWE, which is being built by Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks. The 10,100km cable will have two fibre pairs and will operate at an initial capacity of 10Tbps per fibre.

Djibouti, on the north-east African coast where the Red Sea enters the Indian Ocean, has become an important landing station for subsea cables. AWE will be able to interconnect there with at least six other cables, including EASSy, AAE-1 and SEA-ME-WE 5.

“The new AWE system will provide valuable capability for transporting the rapidly growing traffic between Australia and points in the Middle East, Africa and Europe,” said Mohamed Ahmed, director of government-owned Djibouti Telecom. “We are excited to be participating in this most important project.”

Meanwhile GoTo Networks has appointed Greg Varisco to the board of AWE. In 2010, he co-founded Emerald Networks, which later became Aqua Comms, of which he was CEO until October 2016.