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SEACOM to upgrade cable capacity

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SEACOM has announced that it will upgrade the capacity of its cable following an increase in demand, after receiving a 60% subscription to the current 1.28 terabytes per second capacity.

SEACOM Chief Executive Officer Mark Simpson (image: mybroadband)

SEACOM Chief Executive Officer Mark Simpson said that following trends by mobile operators shifting to data, the firm plans to increase its capacity to meet the demand.

“Technology is changing a lot and we have already begun to plan for our next upgrade which will be in the next 12-15 months and therefore we will have plenty of capacity to serve our customers,” Simpson said.

SEACOM, the first undersea cable to land in Kenya, sells Internet capacity on its cable to mobile operators and Internet services providers for resale to retail Internet users in the country and region.

The upgrade involves installation of nine land-based Internet access points that will store web content closer to where the ISP is accessed from.

Simpson said that SEACOM also has plans to start selling premium services to its clients to tap into the growing provision of content in Africa.

Premium services that the firm plans to start selling include multiprotocol label switching (a data carrying mechanism that allows a simple relay of information over a network).

“We also need to further build resilience into the network using west coast capacity as well as having highly reliable network,” he said.

Simpson expects Internet costs to start coming down as cable companies recoup their initial investments.

“The combination of the economics we offer on the sub-sea and the benefits we see from the terrestrial networks will continue to deliver quite a reduction in price but with quality being our focus,” Simpson said.

Stretching some 17 000kms along the eastern and southern African coastlines and onwards to India and Europe, the SEACOM system has already connected a number of countries within the regions.

“As we look at the growth of different markets, we are happy with what is happening in Kenya and like Tanzania where the fibre cables are built through consortiums and private public partnerships led by governments; we continue having discussions with them,” he said on future growth of the company.

Brian Adero

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