African connectivity is about to take a major leap forward, driven by a relative newcomer to the global ICT sector, from a country traditionally known for its oil resources rather than its tech prowess.
When South Africa emerged as a democracy in 1994, the African continent had fewer telephone lines than New York did as a city.
Fast forward to 2018, when Africa will witness the installation of its first direct subsea fibre connection to Latin America.
A project led by Angola Cables – celebrating five years of growth since it began operating as a telecoms multinational – the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) will be a symbolic shift, bypassing Europe to reach America, the largest center for digital content.
In connecting to Monet – a cable system running up the East Coast of the Americas between Brazil and Florida in the US – SACS will facilitate the interconnection of three continents.
It will also be an ‘Africa first’ approach to global Internet connectivity. Part of the consortium that manages and owns the West Africa Cable System (WACS), Angola Cables will have sole ownership and management of SACS – extending about 6,500 km between Brazil and Angola – when the cable system is completed in mid-2018.
One of the biggest benefits of this leap forward in African connectivity will be a significant reduction in the latency – or the time lag between a data packet being sent and received – between Angola and Brazil.
With SACS, the latency of typical trafficking of Internet between Africa and the Americas will be reduced fivefold to around 63 milliseconds.
Now that’s a change to look forward to.
This article was published in partnership with Angola Cables.