SAEx, Alcatel Submarine Networks begin survey for 25,000km subsea network

04 October 2018 | Jason McGee-Abe

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SAEx International and Alcatel Submarine Networks will commence desktop study, permitting and survey activities for a new 25,000km subsea cable network linking Asia, South Africa and the Americas.

The news comes after last week’s announcement that SAEx International has partnered with TIM’s Sparkle to expand the reach of its system to the East Coast of the US. This new submarine cable system will enhance international connectivity and providing critical route diversity.

“SAEx will support efficiency in Asian and African connectivity by adding a direct low-latency route that’s able to address the growing capacity requirements for data centre interconnect globally,” said Rosalind Thomas, managing director of SAEx (pictured).

“Additionally, it will further evolve South Africa’s positioning as a global hub, providing a direct link between the Americas & Asia, simplifying & enhancing communications between the five most populous countries in the world.”

SAEx will provide both capacity and redundancy to meet the ever-increasing demand for bandwidth hungry markets with ultra-broadband access around the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, enhancing the role of digital connectivity in regional economic development.

The SAEx system will have an overall ultimate capacity design up to 108Tbps and will be composed of two key phases: SAEx1 will connect South Africa with Brazil and the US, with a branch to St Helena and stub branches for future landings in West Africa and other Atlantic islands. SAEx2 will connect South Africa to both India and Singapore. With a network ready for service in the first half of 2021, this significant end-to-end project will further increase connectivity in Africa, deliver significant capacity for wholesale and will enhance service and traffic protection through critical cable route diversity between key markets in Asia and the Americas.

Philippe Piron, president & CEO of Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), added: “We are delighted to work with SAEx for this significant project, creating new and diverse routes around the globe at a time of tremendous growth in African broadband, mobile and cloud based applications that are driving service providers’ demand for more connectivity options with higher reliability. This project confirms Alcatel Submarine Networks’ turn-key expertise in helping operators address the fast growth of data-intensive services and applications.”

As selected system vendor, ASN will deliver the full project, end-to-end, including network design, manufacturing, installation and commissioning. SAEx will use the latest technologies available, including premium fibre, high power repeaters and pump farming, maximizing network fibre capacity for a cost-effective solution. Combined with ASN’s Open Portal and 1620 SOFTNODE portfolio of solutions, the SAEx system will offer market leading flexibility for capacity growth and network integration of Data Centre and PoP connectivity.<