10 Mar 2015 17:00pm
WINDHOEK, 10 MAR (NAMPA) - A meeting to discuss upgrades on the Western Africa Cable System (WACS) is currently underway in the capital.
Stakeholders from Africa, Europe, Canada and Asia are attending the five-day meeting designed to provide them with a detailed work plan of the project.
WACS is a long ultra fibre optic submarine cable used for data communication networks, linking southern Africa to Europe, spanning West Africa.
The 14 500 kilometre-long cable is owned by about 15 telecommunications companies in Africa and Europe.
WACS was commissioned in May 2012 at Swakopmund, initially to provide Telecom Namibia (TN) and Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) clients with direct data communication networks from Europe.
Telecom Namibia (TN)s WACS project engineer, Sevelus Nakashole told Nampa on the sidelines of the meeting on Tuesday that the upgrade would be rolled out in two phases.
Phase one is the upgrade of the express fibre cable to 100 Gigabytes per second (Gbps) from its initial 10Gbps capacity, scheduled to conclude on 06 June 2015; and the rest of the cable will be completed in phase two, ending September 2015, he noted.
The N.dollars 300 billion project of which TN and MTC invested N.dollars 22 million was awarded to Huawei Marine Network (HMW), a global submarine cable network provider from China.
Nakashole added that this might not be the first and only upgrade of the submarine cable as more and faster bandwidth is on demand globally.
The current global network is 100Gbps, which is why we are upgrading the cable to that capacity. Who knows, years later we might again upgrade capacity to 200Gbps due to a rapid demand of fast-speed Internet service, he stressed.
Speaking during the meeting, WACS upgrade group chairperson Daniel Welt said HMW is the new additional WACS supplier, joining the initial Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN).
The existing infrastructure deployed by ASN will still be used, and the two suppliers will be merged into the WACS, he added.
The meeting ends on Friday.