According to local press reports, submarine communications cable the West Africa Cable System (WACS) has landed in Yzerfontein, near Cape Town. The 14,000km cable, which is expected to dock at 14 different landing points along the Western coast of Africa, before linking to the Canary Islands, Portugal and the UK, is set to commence commercial service in 1Q12. The total capacity of the system is 5.12Tbps, and at least 500Gbps will be lit at launch.
Investors in the WACS cable include South African telcos MTN, Vodacom, Telkom South Africa, Broadband Infraco and Neotel. Angus Hay, head of strategic business development at Neotel, commented: ‘This is the dawn of a new era in the South African telecommunications industry. Since the launch of SEACOM and later EASSy, international bandwidth to South Africa has increased. The landing of WACS sets Neotel ahead of its competitors, as it is the only telecommunications operator that has direct access to all five undersea cables landing in South Africa: WACS, SEACOM, EASSy, SAT-3 and SAFE. For Neotel this means that our customers are highly unlikely to experience downtime since the traffic can be moved from one cable to another in case of any cable failure. The level of redundancy, reliability and security will now increase’.