WACS launch to expand broadband capacity in Africa.

By bne IntelliNews May 14, 2012
The big-ticket fibre optic cable system WACS (West African Cable System) was launched in Cape Town on May 11, linking the west coast of Africa with the rest of the world and addressing issues with access, data speeds and reliable connectivity across the continent, Fin24 reported. WACS will expand considerably South Africas broadband capacity and will give countries like Namibia, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Togo a direct connection to the Internet for the first time. These countries have up to now bought broadband capacity from other countries with access to cable systems. WACS is operated by a consortium of 14 companies that have invested USD 650mn in the 14,500km long cable with a capacity of 5.1 terabits per second. The consortium includes South African telecom firms Neotel, MTN, Vodacom and Telkom, as well as other telcos from the region. The submarine cable system is expected to expand South Africas current broadband capacity by more than 500 Gigabits per second (Gbps), which should lead to enhanced competition between companies and lower prices.

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