Zambia hints at fifth telco operator

A fifth telco
for Zambia?

Enough room says
industry regulator.

Sunday, Feb 23rd

Seacom Mtunzini-Cape Town cable may go live in 2014

CapeTown2

Wholesale broadband provider Seacom could start laying an undersea fibre cable along South Africa’s southern coastline this year, says the firm’s chief executive officer Mark Simpson.

Simpson has told ITWeb Africa his firm plans to build an undersea fibre cable from Kwazulu-Natal town Mtunzini to Cape Town at a cost of no more than $100 million.

Mtunzini -- which is a landing point for the 17,000 km Seacom cable stretching along Africa’s eastern coastline to Europe and Southern Asia -- is about 140 km north of port city Durban. The town also hosts a Seacom datacentre.

If the Seacom Mtunzini-Cape Town project goes ahead, it could take 12 months to build and be completed in the third quarter of next year, Simpson has told ITWeb Africa.

Only Telkom’s SAT3/WASC/SAFE cable system stretches along South Africa’s southern shores.

Reasons for Seacom to launch the Mtunzini to Cape Town cable include introducing cheaper and possibly more reliable means than terrestrial fibre to connect Johannesburg to Cape Town, Simpson has explained.

“We’ve got a fairly big push on that (the Mtunzini-Cape Town cable) for the next couple of months,” Simpson told ITWeb Africa.

“I hope that sometime by mid next year that we would be bringing that up,” Simpson added .

However, talk among other firms about laying undersea broadband cables between Cape Town and Mtunzini has emerged in the last year.

South Africa’s Techteledata last year said it was in discussions to build a cable from Mtunzini to Yzerfontein near Cape Town, adding that it could connect coastal cities East London and Port Elizabeth as well.

Meanwhile, another South African company eFive Telecoms, which is behind the South Atlantic Express (SAEx) cable, also plans to extend along the same route along the country’s coastline to connect to Fortaleza in Brazil.

And the Brics cable, promoted by technology group i3 Africa, may also be routed along South Africa’s southern coast, connecting South America to Russia.

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