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Nov 22, 2010
SAT-3/WASC or South Atlantic 3/West Africa Submarine Cable is a submarine communications cable linking Portugal and Spain to South Africa, with connections to several West African countries along the route. It forms part of the SAT-3/WASC/SAFE cable system, where the SAFE cable links South Africa to Asia. The SAT-3/WASC/SAFE system provides a path between Asia and Europe for telecommunications traffic that is an alternative to the cable routes that pass through the Middle East, such as SEA-ME-WE 3 and FLAG. SAT-3 has a capacity of 120 Gbit/s while SAFE has a capacity of 130 Gbit/s; however, plans are in place to nearly triple SAT-3's capacity to 340 Gbit/s soon thanks to technological advancements allowing 2.5 Gbit/s wavelengths to be replaced with 10 Gbit/s wavelengths.

The SAT-3 system together with SAFE was built by a consortium of operators that currently has 36 shareholders in all. As of 2006, major investors included Telkom Group (about 13%), France Telecom (12.08%), Nitel (8.39%); TCI, a subsidiary of AT&T (12.42%) and VSNL (8.93%).