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East African Backhaul System needs $35 million injection

March 10, 2010 • Mobile and Telecoms

The East African Backhaul System (EABs), a project aimed at linking terrestrial fibre from five East African countries to submarine cables in Mombasa and Dar es Salaam, scheduled to roll out in April, still needs $35 million to get completed.

According to Kenyan East African daily, the backhaul system, which will connect Internet traffic from five countries to the EASSy cable points in Mombasa and Dar es Salaam, is currently funded by MTN Rwanda, MTN Uganda, Onatel Burundi, Rwandatel, Telkom Kenya, TTCL in Tanzania, U-Com Burundi, UTL in Uganda, and Zantel in Tanzania.

“EABs will be owned by the signatories to the shareholders agreement in proportion to their financial commitments to EABs”, said MTN Rwanda chief operating officer, Andrew Rugege.

The fiber ring will have connections in each of the five countries, with operators expected to have access to its Internet capacity. The ring will link Kigali with Butare in Rwanda, Kampala to Nairobi and Mombasa in Kenya, while it will pass through Dar es Salaam and other townships in Tanzania.

“Between February and March each party should have contributed a fibre pair. All equipment should have been installed by end of March, according to available information”, Rugege said, adding that the structure was in place, except for Burundi’s infrastructure, which will be ready in June.

The countries will use their national fibre network to support the EABs development.

The project will undergo several phases, including the development of the Construction and Maintenance Agreement and presentation of the memorandum of understanding phase (MOU) to potential investors for signing.

Currently, the EABs is in the MOU phase, where the shareholders agreement is created and operators are invited to join the program.


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