New Fibre Optic Cable to Make Price Cuts Possible in Mozambique

The current cost of transmitting information and data in southern Africa via fibre optics may fall by 90 per cent as from June 2009 when the project to install a new cable alomg the bottom of the Indian Ocean is completed.

The project, budgeted at 16 million US dollars, carried out by SEACOM, a company of mostly African and American interests, will be a link between southern and eastern African countries (Mozambique, South Africa, Madagascar, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibuti), India, and Europe.

The work of installing the Mozambican end of the 14,000 kilometres of cable is due to begin in January 2009.

SEACOM general director Brian Herlihy told AIM that, after visiting the site where the fibre optic station in Maputo is being built, he found that the job is running on schedule, and he was optimistic that it would be completed by June 2009.

He claimed that the SEACOM cable will be the first to link Southern and Eastern Africa with the rest of the world with accessible broad band.

According to Herlihy, the cable, with a period of life estimated at 25 years is more advanced than the current cable, and will be 90 per cent cheaper than communication via satellite.

Thus, the television, telecommunications, mobile phone and other companies operating in this area will be in a better condition to offer a broader, more diverse range of services. Competition between them may force them to reduce their current exorbitant tariffs for Internet access.

The price reductions that the new cable will make possible, Herlihy said, meant that broad band services would be within the reach of most Mozambicans.

Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (Maputo)