Cape Town - Investors have expressed keen interest in an undersea
broadband cable that would link Brazil, Russia, India, China and South
Africa (the Brics countries) to each other and the US, a promoter of the
project said on Thursday.
"There have been many parties showing interest in the
Brics cable project.
"To date, a total of ten non-disclosure agreements
have been signed by global and South African telecommunication
operators," i3 Africa chairperson Andrew Mthembu told Sapa.
"The process... is ongoing and more parties are
expected to join the project. At this stage, we prefer not to disclose
the names of the interested parties."
The 34 000km fibre-optic cable, with 12.8 terabits per second capacity, was expected to be online by 2014.
It would connect with the West Africa Cable System, the
Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System and Seacom, opening up access
between Brics and 21 African countries.
The cable route spanned from Miami in the US, to
Fortaleza in Brazil, Cape Town, Mauritius, Chennai in India, Singapore,
Shantou in China and Vladivostok in Russia.
The project cost is estimated at between $1.2bn and $1.5bn (between about R9.96bn and R12.45bn).
Mthembu said that besides local operators, interest has
been shown by the United Kingdom, the US, China, India, Brazil and
He said the project would be an enabler of local and continental growth.
"It will enable closer inter-working among the Brics
countries and stimulate trade and investment. The new routes... will
lead to improvements in the connectivity to the rest of the world and in
the resiliency of communication.
"For the man in the street this will translate into
better quality of communication and reductions in the cost of
The cable would likely be landed at, or close to, one
of two existing cable landings in Cape Town, at Melkbosstrand or