Fiber-optic cable updates to improve Europe-Africa links

Recent improvements to fiber-optic cables linking Africa with Europe should have a positive impact on Internet access and the quality of service offered by telcos connected to them. 

Huawei Marine earlier this week announced it has completed upgrades on the West Africa Cable System (WACS), the largest submarine cable directly linking Africa to Europe, using a 100G transmission solution that will enhance network connectivity and operational efficiency.

With its Digital Line Segment (DLS) segment between South Africa and Portugal, WACS is one of the longest 100G submarine links in the industry, and serves 14 countries, 11 of them in Africa. The upgrade is designed to guarantee the compatibility of 100Gb/s channels with 10Gb/s channels on the existing network in order to optimize the available optical spectrum.

The WACS upgrade comes barely a month after Orange Telecom announced that in conjunction with the Africa Coast to Europe consortium, the ACE cable link from Cotonou, Benin, to Tenerife, Spain, was completed. The connection stations in Benin and Tenerife is part of the second phase of deployment of the ACE submarine cable, which now serves 15 countries as well as France and Portugal.

Orange noted that its investment in the second phase furthers two of its strategic objectives: to provide widespread access to the internet in its 16 countries of operation in Africa and to continue to improve the quality of its network service.

In a similar vein, Huawei Marine has commenced marine installation of the Nigeria-Cameroon Submarine Cable System (NCSCS), Cameroon’s first wholly owned submarine cable, with investment provided by the Cameroon Government. The cable, which spans approximately 1,100 km, will link Cameroon directly with Nigeria delivering 12.8 Tbps of capacity to broadband users in both countries by the end of 2015.

According to the head of Cameroon Telecommunications Corporation, David Emane, the direct connection to Nigeria will enhance Cameroon’s position as the major bandwidth hub in the region and internationally, to Europe and beyond.

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