DARE1 Subsea Cable Project Hits Next Milestone

DARE1 subsea cable project hits next milestone

05 December 2019 | Jason McGee-Abe

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Djibouti Telecom, Somtel, Telkom Kenya and SubCom have announced the completion of all manufacturing aspects for the Djibouti Africa Regional Express 1 (DARE1) subsea cable system.

The system, which is reported to have cost $86 million, will have four landing stations to help expand connectivity in Eastern Africa: Djibouti, Bosaso and Mogadishu in Somalia, and Mombasa (Kenya).

With a finalised cable length of 4,854 km, DARE1 will include three branching units and 41 dual-stage repeaters to maximise its capacity. The loading of the cable onto the marine vessel SubCom Durable commenced on November 13, 2019 and is forecasted to be completed in December 2019.

Djibouti Telecom Director General, Mohamed Assoweh Bouh, says: “We are very pleased that the DARE1 system is progressing on schedule and will be ready for service in 2020. We understand the importance of bringing connectivity to eastern Africa and couldn’t imagine a better company to partner with to achieve this mission other than SubCom.”

“We understand the importance of bringing connectivity to eastern Africa and couldn’t imagine a better company to partner with to achieve this mission other than SubCom,” said Mohamed Assoweh Bouh, director general of Djibouti Telecom.

The four cable landing points are located in port cities along the eastern coast of Africa and will enable enhanced communication and connection with other cable systems around the globe. In addition to the dual-stage repeaters included on all branches of the system, the Bosaso and Mogadishu segments will be equipped with a switched ROADM, to provide flexible capacity routing and a robust fault protection scheme for the system. The structure of the system also includes three branch units off a three fibre-pair trunk, where each pair has a capacity of 40 channels at 300Gbps.

“We’re thrilled that this major milestone has been completed in the DARE1 project. Somtel’s customers will soon be able to experience internet plans with greater reliability and higher speeds, as well as more choices at affordable prices,” said Ismail Duale, CTO of Somtel Group.

The DARE1 consortium completed the marine survey for the cable in March 2019, when it also added the landing station in Bosaso, Somalia.

Telkom Kenya’s MD for carrier services, Kebaso Mokogi, added: “Telkom is excited to be the landing party in Nyali, Mombasa, with the DARE1 consortium, considering the benefits it has in store for the country. This investment will offer diversity in the routing of traffic and will also provide for fibre continuity, cognisant of the risk at the high seas. The development of regional backbones such as the DARE1 will also increase access to data in the region, with eventual gains being realised on cost for the end consumer.”

The project is progressing on schedule and the system is on track to be ready for commercial traffic in June 2020.