West African Cable System to land next week

The construction phase of the West African Cable System (WACS) is due for completion early in April, when the cable will reach its final destination point at Yzerfontein in South Africa. The cable was slated to be ready for commercial use by the third quarter of this year, but that target has now been pushed back to early 2012.

WACS is tasked with delivering increased international capacity to the African continent; having begun life with an original capacity of 3.8Tbps, that was subsequently upgraded to 5.1Tbps, which makes it the highest capacity cable on the continent to date. Other landing points for the cable include Angola, Namibia, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Portugal and the UK.

The WACS consortium, which includes players such as MTN, Vodacom, Tata Communications and Telkom South Africa,  partnered with Alcatel-Lucent on the project to connect Africa with Europe via a 14,000km cable in 2009. The cable will provide the first direct connection between southern Africa and Europe.

VAS Africa takes place in Johnannesburg on the 5-6 July 2011

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