Johannesburg – The $300m East African Submarine System (Eassy) has entered commercial use, its cable management committee announced on Thursday.
Eassy is a 10 000km submarine fibre-optic cable system deployed along the east and south coast of Africa to service the voice, data, video and internet needs of the region.
It links South Africa with Sudan via landing points in Mozambique, Madagascar, the Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti.
The system is owned and operated by a group of 15 African (92%) and international (8%) telecommunications operators and service providers.
Speaking at a press conference in Sandton, Trevor Martins, chair of the Eassy committee said the system had gone live on July 30 and was completed under budget and ahead of schedule.
"It is a big proud moment for us is to deliver ahead of schedule, and not only that, but under budget. We secured a saving of roughly 10%," said Martins who noted that the cable was intended to start commercial operation in the third quarter.
He said that the consortium of telecom operators had resisted the temptation to launch ahead of the World Cup in June. "We wanted to ensure that technically, this system was reliable. We are confident that we didn't cut any corners in laying this cable."
The system's broadband will be available for the use over the next 25 years.
Eassy is the highest capacity system serving sub-Saharan Africa, with a 1.4Tbps, 2 fibre-pair configuration. "The system was delivered with a much higher capacity, whilst achieving exceptional collaboration among African operators," said Martins.
"The presence of multiple investors and participants ensures open competition resulting in benefits to the market as a whole as can be seen in South Africa, by the participation of operator investors being MTN Group [JSE:MTN]
, Neotel, Telkom [JSE:TKG]
and Vodacom Group [JSE:VOD]
, said Prince Radebe, Telkom SA Eassy representative.
- I-Net Bridge