A multinational consortium of leading telecommunications operators has signed a Construction and Maintenance Agreement (C&MA) and Supply Contract for the implementation of the West Africa Cable System (WACS).
WACS is a 3.84 terabit per second submarine fibre optic cable that will link countries in Southern Africa, Western Africa and Europe, with high capacity international bandwidth.
Planned landing points include South Africa, Namibia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Republic of Congo, Canary Islands, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Cape Verde, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
The landings in Namibia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Congo and Togo will provide the first connections for these countries to a global submarine cable network.
Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks has been contracted to supply the 14,000 km long cable system with all associated landing points, which is expected to be ready for service by early 2011.
Costing about US$600-million, the project has brought together a multitude of nations and some of the world’s most influential telecommunications players in a joint effort to use state-of-the-art technology in linking more people more efficiently than ever before.
Pieter Uys, Chief Executive Officer of Vodacom Group and Chairman of the WACS steering committee said: “the West Africa Cable System represents a significant telecommunications infrastructure investment through a joint effort of a number of African and Global operators and will have ample capacity to serve the region’s international connectivity needs for many years to come.”
The telecommunications companies that have signed the WACS Construction and Maintenance Agreement include Angola Telecom, Broadband Infraco, Cable & Wireless, MTN, Telecom Namibia, Tata Communications (Neotel), Portugal Telecom, Sotelco, Togo Telecom, Econet, Telkom SA and Vodacom Group.