PCCW Global in PEACE Cable Southern Africa Extension

PCCW Global signs up to extend PEACE cable to southern Africa

20 January 2020 | Jason McGee-Abe

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PCCW Global and PEACE Cable International Network will collaborate on extending the Pakistan East Africa Connecting Europe (PEACE) submarine cable system to southern Africa.

The PEACE South extension will boost bandwidth and have an important impact on connectivity from its current African landing point in Mombasa, Kenya, all the way to South Africa, opening new Southern African Development Community (SADC) and east African markets to cable partners.

In addition, PEACE South will provide alternative routes for existing systems, connecting southern Africa to Europe and Asia with newer, faster high-bandwidth technology and assisting the region to improve internet usage and reduce the cost of connectivity.

“Since the construction of Peace East and Peace Med are both expected to be completed on time, on budget and within the originally specified plan of work,” said Frederick Chui, chief commercial officer of PCCW Global (pictured bottom left).

“The planned extension through Peace South is a natural expansion for Asian investment in Africa, enhancing cooperation and shared economic benefits in the exchange of goods, technology and ideas.”

The southern Africa extension follows the overall success of the cable development project and the smooth implementation of operations, from survey activities and the issuing of the relevant country permits through to manufacturing and factory acceptance.

The news follows the announcements in September that PEACE, together with Liquid Telecom and Africa Data Centre, signed a landing party agreement (LPA) for a landing point in Kenya, and it respectively, with PCCW Global and Orange, signed a deal to deploy the new PEACE Med subsea cable at a landing station in Marseille.

New technologies deployed in the construction phase of the project will enable each country's bandwidth allocation to be modified during the lifetime of the cable. Once the cable is live, individual cable stakeholders will have the ability to independently structure the network according to their own specifications, without affecting others using the same cable system.

When completed, the high-speed PEACE cable system will offer very low latency routes from China to both Europe and Africa, interconnecting three of the world’s most populous continents.

“We see the PEACE project as a strategic pivot for the HENGTONG Group to further expand as a subsea cable investor and we look forward to identifying new investment opportunities in this market,” added Sun Xiaohua, chief operating officer of PEACE Cable International (pictured bottom right).

“Investment in the PEACE South extension is being provided solely by the PEACE partnership, with commercial implementation assistance from PCCW Global. This illustrates the extent of our commitment to the project as a major strategic opportunity to spearhead the deployment and commercialisation of better connectivity between Africa, Europe and Asia.”

Once complete, PEACE will link France to Pakistan using the Europe-Asia route, and Mombasa in Kenya, via an Indian Ocean route that will ensure optimum latency. With plans to extend towards South Africa and eastwards towards South East Asia, the cable will total 15,000km in length and is set to be ready for service in 2021.