New connectivity lined up via Namibia/Zambia WACS link

23 Aug 2012

Zimbabwe is set to gain an additional link to international submarine high speed fibre networks via a route through Zambia and Namibia. The Namibian Ministry of Information and Communication Technology has announced that the country will extend a link to Zimbabwe via Zambia to grant access to the West Africa Cable System (WACS). The Zimbabwe Mail reports that an ICT technical delegation from Zimbabwe was in Namibia recently, conducting discussions with representatives of the ministry, incumbent Telecom Namibia and the prime minister. Subsequently, Zimbabwe’s state-run PSTN operator TelOne agreed with Telecom Namibia to interconnect Zimbabwe and Namibia by fibre-optic cable in a project to be completed by June 2013, the report adds. An Optical Ground Wire (OPGW) cable route currently runs from the Namibian WACS landing point at Swakopmund to Katima Mulilo in Namibia’s far northeast and continues to Livingstone (Victoria Falls) in Zambia via the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) transmission network, where some of the fibres can be made available to Zimbabwe for further distribution, according to Reiner Jagau, an executive at Nampower (the utility which leases national dark fibre to telcos in Namibia). Preceding this development, CommsUpdate reported earlier this month that TelOne said that it was preparing to deploy a domestic fibre-optic network extension to reach the Victoria Falls border region. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that landlocked Zimbabwe currently has connections to international undersea networks via Mozambique to the East African Submarine System (EASSy), as well as to another cable, SEACOM, via both South Africa and Mozambique.

Zimbabwe, Telecom Namibia (incl. TN Mobile), TelOne, Zambia Electricity Supply Company (Zesco)