According to TechCentral, a leading investor behind the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable has quashed speculation suggesting that the ZAR5.4 billion (USD 752.5 million) cable is no longer landing in South Africa. Baharicom CEO Carey Phillip refuted erroneous reports suggesting that the cable – which launches in France – will terminate at Sao Tome and Príncipe, a Portuguese-speaking island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, rather than in South Africa.
However, Phillip did admit that state-owned Sentech – the original South African landing partner – will no longer be involved with the project, commenting: ‘We are in advanced discussions with two South African companies that have valid licences, one of which will land the cable’. Although he was reluctant to confirm the identities of the interested parties, Phillip indicated that neither are government owned. In 2010 the government revealed that Sentech had signed a partnership agreement with the ACE consortium to land the cable in the Western Cape.
Construction of the ACE cable commenced in December 2010, and it is expected to arrive at Yzerfontein, north of Cape Town, before the end of 2012. It is believed that the cable follows a similar course as the West African Cable System (WACS), which is expected to be fully operational later this year. Both cables have a capacity of 5.1Tbps.