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New Vox partnership links Africa with the Americas

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Jenna Delport
Jenna Delport
I’m a tech writer, world traveller, avocado-eater and dog lover, not always in that order.

Integrated ICT and infrastructure provider, Vox announced that it is partnering with Angola Cables. This will see Vox gain remote peering access to the undersea South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) that links Africa with the Americas.

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“Vox currently makes use of three cable systems to provide international connectivity between South Africa and London in the UK – the South Atlantic 3 (SAT3), the West Africa Cable System (WACS) and the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy),” says Christopher Burrell, Head of Network at Vox, “adding additional capacity through this fourth cable will significantly enhance our core network”.

SACS is the first undersea cable connection to provide a direct link between Africa and South America. The 6165km-long cable with a design capacity of 40Tbps connects Luanda, Angola with Fortaleza, Brazil and provides the lowest latency routing option between the two continents. In South Africa, Angola Cables has Points of Presence (PoPs) in both Cape Town and Johannesburg.

“Also, SACS offers connections to other cable systems such as WACS, and MONET, which links Brazil with the United States helping to reduce latency between Africa and North America by up to 60% when compared to existing routing options via Europe. As an example, latency between Cape Town and New York drops from 236ms via existing connections to 190ms using SACS and Monet, while latency between Cape Town and São Paulo is reduced from 395ms to 140ms,” continues Burrell.

Burrell says that unlike the first three cables that allow for a range of data traffic to be carried between South Africa and the points of presence in London, the SACS arrangement will cater for selective peering options. The link will be used to transfer certain types of content initially and will extend their peering relationships over time.

“Based on demand, Vox will approach content delivery networks (CDNs) in Luanda, Sao Paulo and New York, to look at what can be delivered to South African consumers and businesses at a lower latency, and in doing so, shorten the distance between local users and content in international markets,” notes Burrell.

Vox already has peering arrangements in place with large CDNs and Cloud Providers through its existing Internet Exchange (IX) relationships in South Africa.

Given the new arrangement with Angola Cables, Vox will be able to extend their reach and offer customers the ability to host multi-cloud services abroad – and pass on the benefits of the lower latencies via SACS.

Angola Cables’ CEO, António Nunes maintains that SACS presents a multitude of benefits for users on both sides of the Atlantic. Apart from the considerable reductions in latencies, the cable network can cater for the huge rise in demand for data services.

“Given that SACS also has multiple onward connection options, companies and individuals can send, share or transmit data quickly and efficiently, something which has become a vital commodity in today’s digital economy.”

Edited bJenna Delport

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