Huawei cable ship sails on journey to lay new south Atlantic link

25 May 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


Work has started on laying SAIL, Camtel’s subsea cable across the south Atlantic from Cameroon in west Africa to Brazil.

Minette Libom li Likeng, Cameroon minister of posts and telecommunications, attended the ceremony marking start of construction at the coastal city of Kribi of South Atlantic Inter Link (SAIL).

Huawei Marine Networks is laying the cable for Camtel from Kribi to Fortaleza in Brazil, where Angola Cables’ rival south Atlantic cable SACS also terminates. Fortaleza is a landing station for more than a dozen subsea cables including the recently laid Monet,the 10,556km cable system owned by Algar Telecom, Angola Cables, Antel and Alphabet, which runs north to Miami and south to Santos in southern Brazil.

Huawei expects to take 60 days to lay the 6,000km-long SAIL, and has a target date for completing the installation at the end of August 2018. SAIL will operate at 32Tbps using 100G technology.

Cameroon neighbours Nigeria, one of the biggest economies in Africa, and is served by a number of cables running along the west coast of Africa.

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Only last year, Camtel and China Unicom signed the construction contract with Huawei Marine Networks to build the new cable system. 

Speaking at the time of the signing ceremony, David Nkote, general manager of state-owned Camtel, said: "When it completed, it will provide new international connectivity, to facilitate bandwidth demand between Africa and South America and support the booming economies in the two continents." 

Lu Yimin, the CEO of China Unicom,who was also attendence said: "China has strategic partnerships with Africa and South America. SAIL not only provides high-quality international telecommunication services to countries in these two continents, but also better serves Chinese companies to develop their business in these regions."