Presented by Angola Cables

Angola Cables and Nokia test first direct fibre link from Africa to the US

Angola Cables and Nokia have completed a trial to provide a direct, low-latency transatlantic path from Luanda to Boca Raton.

Angola Cables and Nokia performed a live test of the first direct fibre link between Africa and North America at AfricaCom 2019 on Wednesday.

The network routing between Sangano in Angola and Boca Raton in Florida has completed final acceptance, Angola Cables said.

It achieved the direct fibre link by using Nokia technology to connect two undersea cable systems to create an express optical route: the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS), and MONET.

SACS connects Sangano in Angola to Fortaleza in Brazil. SACS offers four fibre pairs between the two cities and is owned and managed by Angola Cables. It launched commercial services in September 2018.

MONET is a consortium cable that connects Fortaleza to Boca Raton in Florida. The cable’s investors include Google, Antel (Uruguay), Algar Telecom (Brazil), and Angola Cables. Angola Cables has access to two of the six fibre pairs on MONET.

Testing showed that the direct link improved latency along the route between Africa and North America, with pings between Luanda (Angola) and Miami (Florida, US) reduced to 123 milliseconds.

Connections between Cape Town and Miami achieved latencies as low as 162ms, while connections from Johannesburg to Miami measured 180ms.

For capacity between Angola and South Africa, as well as connectivity along the entire western coast of Africa, Angola Cables has a stake in the West Atlantic Cable System (WACS). WACS has landing points in Angola and Yzerfontein in the Western Cape. In addition to landing in 11 African countries, WACS also lands in Las Palmas (Spain), Seixal (Portugal), and Highbridge (UK).

Angola Cables said that backhaul operators, ISPs, CDNs and other users in the sub-Saharan region of Africa can benefit from significantly improved latencies on existing network traffic routes.

“For example, the connection between Johannesburg and New York City will be reduced by up to 18% using the direct SACS and MONET fibre optic connection,” said Ângelo Gama, the CTO of Angola Cables.

Nokia explained that the field trial used its 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) wavelength division multiplexing platform.

“We are employing technology that makes more efficient use of the existing subsea cables,” said Carlo Corti, the Director of Optics Business Development for MEA at Nokia.

The Nokia 1830 PSS allowed for optical links to be set up across the SACS and MONET cables without needing signal regenerators. It transmitted optical signals over 12,635km from Angola to Florida, allowing for a significant reduction in latency.

“This connection will register the highest bitrates and lowest latency between Africa and the USA through direct routing,” Corti said.


This article was published in partnership with Angola Cables.

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Angola Cables and Nokia test first direct fibre link from Africa to the US