South Africans are set to enjoy faster and maybe cheaper internet connection with the landing of another cable. The 14 000 km long undersea fibre-optic West Africa Cable System (Wacs) which was being built by Alcatel -Lucent is expected to reach Yzerfontein in the Western Cape in April.
The total cost of the cable is $600 USD and MTN has invested $90-million in the system, making it the largest single investor . MTN would in return receive 11% of the initial capacity when it goes operational in the second quarter of 2011.The cable links Southern Africa and Europe through the west coast of Africa and terminating in London.
The cable has 15 terminal stations along the western coast of Africa. Some of the companies which signed and participated in the WACS Construction and Maintenance are Angola Telecom, Broadband Infraco, Cable & Wireless, MTN Group, Telecom Namibia, Portugal Telecom, Sotelco, Tata Communications (Neotel), Telkom South Africa, Togo Telecom and Vodacom.
Wacs is a minimum 4-fibre pair cable system, with a system design of 5,12 Tb/s measured at 10Gb/s wavelength technology. The initial equipage is more than 500Gb/s, and certain segments will deploy 40Gb/s wavelengths technology from the first day of operation.
MTN has again invested $50-million in the Europe India Gateway (EIG) cable system and another $40,3-million in the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy). Through EASSy, MTN has already been allocated an initial capacity of 30GB in line with its investment in the cable, while the company received 317GB of capacity on the EIG cable.