SEACOM yesterday announced it was upgrading its submarine network across the Southern and Eastern African coastlines in a move to drive the development of the African internet and opening the broadband tap for African consumers.
Claes Segelberg, chief technology officer at SEACOM said, “Connectivity services in Africa are booming due to the growing needs of business IT users, the rise of ”cloud” based services, and growing requirements for the processing and storing of personal data,” and added “Ciena’s technology will enable us to cost-effectively scale our capacity to address this growing demand for connectivity throughout the continent. The company’s future-proof network design has mitigated the risks associated with the upgrade project, ensuring a seamless transition for SEACOM’s carrier customers and end users.”
According to Ed McCormack, vp and GM, submarine systems at Ciena: “In the last couple of years, bandwidth penetration in several African countries has increased tenfold with the support of SEACOM’s submarine network. Ciena’s coherent technology will enable SEACOM to evolve and grow its network cost-effectively. It will lay the foundations for a unified terrestrial and submarine network and evolution path to a GeoMesh network architecture. This project demonstrates a key aim of Ciena’s OPnnetwork architecture vision: to bend the cost curve of networking in the face of new service requirements.”
SEACOM will upgrade its 17,000km undersea network in India, Egypt, Dijbouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa which will see it “deliver its capacity in very short timeframes and provide for future demands.”
SEACOM is a privately financed, developed and owned submarine fibre optic cable network bringing high quality, affordable wholesale broadband capacity to Africa through the sale of wholesale bandwidth and associated services on an open-access basis since July 2009.
SEACOM’s project started off with the initial construction in November 2007. This cable joined the countries of Southern and East Africa, Asia and Europe with the global network and has permanently altered the advanced broadband infrastructure of the African continent.
SEACOM officially launched in July 2009 in Kenya and within 3 days, Kenya reported a 3-5 times increase in internet speeds, within 14 days of the launch, Safaricom’s CEO reported a 200% increase in data traffic and a 700% overall increase of international bandwidth supply was recorded. SEACOM’s network is also available in Mozambique, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Africa.