Over the next two years South Africa will see its international bandwidth capacity increase significantly through undersea cable initiatives like EASSy, WACS and potentially Main-One. These new cable systems will compliment the current SAT-3/SAFE system and SEACOM which became operational last year.
The first new cable which will become operational is EASSy, with a planned launch date of August 2010, but it is just too late to contribute to the bandwidth needs of the 2010 World Cup.
Telkom, which is responsible for much of the telecoms and broadcasting requirements for the World Cup, has now turned to SEACOM for additional international capacity and redundancy.
According to one source Telkom did not have much of a choice about incorporating SEACOM into its 2010 network, and despite recent capacity upgrades to SAT-3/SAFE the fixed line provider still needed SEACOM to ensure it has adequate capacity to serve its 2010 needs.
It is understood that Telkom has penned a deal with TATA Communications, which is part of the TATA Group (Neotel’s biggest shareholder), to gain capacity on SEACOM.
Neotel has also confirmed that Telkom has established a point of presence at their data centre – the SEACOM termination point in South Africa – and will be using their terrestrial network to connect to the SEACOM cable.
When asked about its SEACOM plans, Telkom would not go into much detail but did say that it is not against using SEACOM when it makes sense.
“Telkom always endeavours to tailor its solutions to specific customer requirements. With regard to the issue of undersea cables, we have already stated that if this requires the use of capacity on SEACOM to enhance the scope of our offerings to an end destination, then Telkom will consider doing so in the best interests of our customers,” Telkom said.
It is not clear whether Telkom will continue to make use of SEACOM after the World Cup is finished.
Telkom’s SEACOM deal << Discussion