The cable system which is about 14,000km in length is the largest (in capacity) to land on the continent and will serve other African countries such as Namibia, Angola, Congo-Kinshasa, Congo-Brazzaville, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Cape Verde among others. WACS is owned and operated by a consortium of telecommunications operators including Neotel, Telkom South Africa, the MTN Group and Gateway Communications among others. MTN is the project’s biggest investor with a $90 million stake.
With a capacity of about 5.2 Terabits per second (Tbps), the cable will provide South Africa with more capacity than the current capacity of all other undersea fibre-optic cables serving South Africa put together. (South Africa is currently serviced by three other undersea fibre-optic cables namely EASSy, SEACOM and SAT3/SAFE).
“Africa has until now been a cyclist on the information superhighway,” Karel Pienaar, Managing Director for MTN, told AFP.
“We sincerely believe that the commercialisation of WACS and other submarine cables will set the stage for a mobile revolution that will enhance the quality of life for millions of people across the continent,” Pienaar said in a statement.
The cable will be ready for commercial use in the first quarter of 2012.
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