Vox Seals Peering Deal for Angola Cables' SACS Cable

Vox seals peering deal for Angola Cables' SACS cable

05 December 2019 | Jason McGee-Abe

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Vox has entered into a partnership with Angola Cables that will enhance its core network by attaining remote peering access to the undersea South Atlantic Cable System (SACS).

Based on demand, the South African integrated ICT and infrastructure provider will approach content delivery networks (CDNs) in Luanda, São Paulo and New York, to look at what can be delivered to South African consumers and businesses at a lower latency, and in doing so, shorten the distance between local users and content in international markets.

Vox already has peering arrangements in place with large CDNs and cloud providers through its existing internet exchange (IX) relationships in South Africa.

“Vox currently makes use of three cable systems to provide international connectivity between South Africa and London in the UK - the South Atlantic 3 (SAT3), the West Africa Cable System (WACS) and the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy),” said Christopher Burrell, head of network at Vox (pictured). “Adding additional capacity through this fourth cable will significantly enhance our core network.”

Burrell says that unlike the first three cables that allow for a range of data traffic to be carried between South Africa and the points of presence in London, the SACS arrangement will cater for selective peering options. The link will be used to transfer certain types of content initially and will extend their peering relationships over time.

SACS is the first undersea cable connection to provide a direct link between Africa and South America. The 6,165km-long cable with a design capacity of 40Tbps connects Luanda, Angola with Fortaleza, Brazil and provides the lowest latency routing option between the two continents. In South Africa, Angola Cables has points of presence (PoPs) in both Cape Town and Johannesburg.

“In addition, SACS offers connections to other cable systems such as WACS, and MONET, which links Brazil with the United States helping to reduce latency between Africa and North America by up to 60% when compared to existing routing options via Europe. As an example, latency between Cape Town and New York drops from 236ms via existing connections to 190ms using SACS and Monet, while latency between Cape Town and São Paulo is reduced from 395ms to 140ms,” added Burrell.

Last month, Angola Cables announced that it was conducting a trial using Nokia’s 1830 Photonic Service Switch wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) platform, looking at building a direct optical connection between Africa and North America.

Given the new arrangement with Angola Cables, Vox will be able to extend its reach and offer customers the ability to host multi-cloud services abroad – and pass on the benefits of the lower latencies via SACS.

Angola Cables’ chief executive officer, António Nunes, maintains that SACS presents a multitude of benefits for users on both sides of the Atlantic. Apart from the considerable reductions in latencies, the cable network has the capacity to cater for the huge rise in demand for data services. Nunes said: “Given that SACS also has multiple onward connection options, companies and individuals can send, share or transmit data quickly and efficiently, something which has become a vital commodity in today’s digital economy.”

Customers who stand to benefit from the new arrangement with Vox include the increasing number of enterprises looking to utilise technologies such as software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN), over the top (OTT) and VPN service providers. Not only will businesses benefit but so too will individual users and avid gamers who frequently access international gaming platforms.

“SACS is a game-changer and offers our customers a connection to the world,” added Nunes.