SEACOM launch ready for kick-off

15 Aug 2008

Private equity venture SEACOM has said its 15,000km undersea cable linking east Africa to Europe and Asia will be launched in June 2009, in plenty of time for South Africa’s hosting of the World Cup in 2010. The company will begin laying cables in October this year, while work on connecting sections of the cable is scheduled to start the following April.

SEACOM President Brian Herlihy said, ‘We are very happy with the progress made over the past five months. Our manufacturing and deployment schedule is on target and we are confident that we will meet our delivery promises,’ adding, ‘We are able to meet the African market’s urgent requirements for cheap and readily available bandwidth within less than a year’. The cable will provide 1.28Tbps of broadband capacity. South Africa’s second telco, Neotel, has secured the rights to control the cable’s use in South Africa.

The project is costing USD650 million and will be funded by Nedbank Capital, a division of Nedbank and Investec Bank. The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development has a 25% stake, as does Venfin. and Herakles Telecom, while Convergence Partners and the Shanduka Group each hold 12.5%.