SEACOM, Africa’s leading telecommunications and managed services provider, announced that it has launched its services on the Equiano subsea cable, which landed in Cape Town, South Africa, in August 2022. As a result, the company now provides Private Line services, with an impressive latency speed of approximately 110 milliseconds (ms) between South Africa and Europe, making it the fastest direct route between the two continents.
The cable now forms part of SEACOM’s subsea cable ecosystem surrounding Africa, supported by a continent-wide IP-MPLS network. SEACOM fulfilled the necessary equipment and installation requirements with the help of its technology partner, Infinera.
Google announced the Equiano subsea cable in 2019, which is among Africa’s most high-capacity cables. The cable spans 15,000 kilometers from Portugal to South Africa, has twelve fibre pairs, and has a design capacity of 144 Tbps. The cable has a landing station in Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, as well as in other African locations, including Rupert’s Bay, St. Helena; Lome, Togo; Lagos, Nigeria; and Swakopmund, Namibia. Branching units from these stations will further extend connectivity to other African countries.
SEACOM’s Subsea Cable Ecosystem, Image courtesy: SEACOM
The company said, “The launch comes after SEACOM has completed extensive work to support the new connection, including upgrades to its transmission and IP network both locally and internationally. As part of the service available to wholesale and enterprise clients from March, SEACOM will offer an express route from Cape Town to Lisbon. This means clients will enjoy high-speed connectivity without having their data rerouted to other countries during transmission.”
“This launch results from years of project negotiations and planning, driven by a goal to be ready to offer quality service to our customers from day one. The Equiano subsea cable represents a new stage in Africa’s digital transformation, meeting Africa’s growing data requirements, enabling cross-border digital trade, and offering citizens and enterprises new opportunities,” says Prenesh Padayachee, SEACOM’s Group Chief Digital Officer.
“Infinera is delighted to partner with SEACOM to light the Equiano subsea cable with our industry-leading ICE6 800G technology,” said Nick Walden, Infinera Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales. “With the industry’s highest spectral efficiency, ICE6 enables SEACOM to maximise the number of high-speed services they can offer, providing multiple terabits of capacity on this critical subsea link.”
According to a Regional Economic Impact Assessment by Africa Practice, commissioned by Google and published in 2021, the cable will increase South Africa’s GDP by USD 5.8 billion and create 180,000 indirect jobs by 2025.
SEACOM has acquired a full fiber pair with a capacity of 12 Tbps on the Express Route, which results in reduced latency between Africa and Europe. As a result, the SEACOM Express Route provides the quickest and most direct path between Africa and Europe, with the lowest possible latency. This route enables Operators, ISPs, Telcos, Content Providers, and Enterprises with the fastest direct path between Africa and Europe with the lowest latency, connecting to key South African and European data centers.