Angola Cables on final stretch to connect Africa, South America

Angola Cables on final stretch to connect Africa, South America

SACS presents an opportunity for Angola to become one of the telecommunications hubs in sub-Saharan Africa.

Angolan telecommunications operator, Angola Cables has announced that it has begun the final stretch of its long-awaited South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) as it begins its deep-water installation.

The first-of-its-kind system connecting Africa to South America, currently 75% complete, aims to connect Angola and Brazil across 6500 kilometres in the South Atlantic with 40 Tbps (100Gb/s x 100 wavelengths x 4 fibre-pairs) of capacity.

The company says the deep-water phase of the installation will last 90 days and cover a distance of 6200 km of cable at depths of up to 5000 meters.

Angola Cables is overseeing the installation and, together with its partner NEC Corporation, has hired French cable ship firm Orange Marine to begin laying the cable.

"SACS presents an opportunity for Angola to become one of the telecommunications hubs in sub-Saharan Africa," notes Angola Cables.

In a recent interview with ITWeb Africa, the company's CEO, Antonio Nunes said he is growing more confident in the value that the African continent will derive from SACS.

"With SACS in place, wholesale customers between the continents will see a fivefold improvement in latency, as well as better access to America, one of the largest producers and aggregators of digital content and services."

Nunes added that "investments in underwater cable systems and data centres are creating digital bridges bringing continents closer, but also improving access to major international telecommunications circuits.

"We expect various economic benefits for Angola, as well as other regions where our network exists, with a number of knock-on effects, including further investment from technology companies requiring high levels of connectivity."

Earlier this month, Nunes said the system presents a massive opportunity for sub-Saharan Africa to leapfrog other countries. "The continent is teeming with pioneers building 'digital bridges' within and between villages, countries, and continents, as well as connecting Africa to the global economy and research communities. In as much as this may be true, many parts of Africa continue to play catch-up with the rest of the world in terms of the control and directness of subsea fibre optic connectivity."

He said currently the West Africa Cable System (WACS) is the most important conduit for data for the West Coast of the continent. "Managed by a 12-member consortium, it provides carrier-level services to operators in Sub-Saharan Africa across a dozen countries, including 12 landing points in Africa and three in Europe (The Canary Islands, Portugal, and England).

"Running more than 14,000 km - starting in Yzerfontein (South Africa) to London (UK) - WACS is an essential artery for the digital connectivity and economic development of countries connecting to the cable."

As the first and only direct link between Angola and Brazil, SACS is expected to be fully operational by the middle of 2018.