WACS lands in South Africa

The newly constructed West Africa Cable System (WACS) has landed at Yzerfontein on the West Coast of South Africa today.

Deployment of WACS, done by Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, began in 2009 and the company recently announced that the design capacity of the cable has been increased from 3.84 terrabits per second (Tbps) to 5.12Tbps.

With commercial services expected by 2011, the 5.12Tbps WACS will connect South Africa to the UK with landings in Namibia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Cape Verde, the Canary Islands, and Portugal.

Local participants include Telkom SA, Neotel, MTN, Vodacom, Broadband Infraco and Gateway Communications.

Telkom South Africa is the landing partner of the cable in South Africa, and is constructing and managing the landing station in Yzerfontein as well as the backhaul fibre network for delivering WACS bandwidth.

“Various reasons led to the choice of Yzerfontein as landing point for WACS and allocating the responsibility to land the cable in South Africa to Telkom. All submarine cables that enter South Africa is located at either Melkbosstrand or Mtunzini, thus effectively two international fibre gateways,” explains Casper K Chihaka, Managing Executive: Telkom Wholesale Services.

“Events such as earthquakes or even a large ship dragging its anchor has seen several cables being cut during singular events across the world. South Africa needs a third international fibre gateway to reduce the risk of complete isolation from the rest of the world. Telkom operates submarine cable gateways at Mtunzini, Melkbosstrand and now also at Yzerfontein,” he continues.

WACS landing

Once WACS commences commercial operation, Telkom will be able to provide services through three diverse gateways from South Africa providing the redundancy for a connected South Africa even under disastrous conditions. 

Furthermore Telkom’s submarine cable portfolio will now comprise of a complete ring around Africa enabling Telkom the ability to offer redundant and restorable international bandwidth services.

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WACS lands in South Africa