Eassy to Go Live on Friday
The Eassy fibre optic cable will go live on Friday 16 July 2010, marking the completion of its construction, which started in Maputo, Mozambique in December 2009. Eassy is the third fibre optic cable in Kenya, with Teams and Seacom optic cables having been completed last year.
The cable will be formally handed over to the West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC) board by the Alcatel sub-marine networks, who were the sub-contractors, on Wednesday next week in Nairobi.
Experts expect the arrival of Eassy to increase competition for Internet connection in the region, with the possibility of reduced connection rates. The cable, constructed by a consortium of telecommunications companies, offers a direct route to Europe, and is the largest cable system in sub-Saharan Africa.
"All the Eassy landing stations have been completed, tested and are fully operational. These are Port Sudan, Djibouti, Mombasa, Dar-esalaam, Moroni in Comoros Islands, Toliary in Madagascar, Maputo in Mozambique and Mtuzini in South Africa," the management said in a press release on Tuesday, signed by its Chief Commercial Officer, James Wekesa.
The Eassy cable has the capability to deliver 1.4Tbs capacity, making it the largest submarine cable system serving the continent. The cable, which is in 9 countries, will offer transit connection through backhaul networks to at least 12 landlocked countries, providing the greatest area coverage in the region.
WIOCC, CEO Chris Wood said, "Eassy will be the first east coast system to connect on a direct route to Europe, making it the lowest latency system for traffic to key internet peering points in Europe and North America." The other cable systems have to make connections through either India or UAE to reach Europe.
Eassy is owned by 16 commercial telcom entities, with 92 per cent owned by African operators and 8 per cent by international operators. The investing parties include: Bharti Airtel, Botswana Telecom Corporation, British Telecom, Comoros Telecom, Etisalat, France Telecom, Mauritius Telecom, MTN International Group, Neotel, Saudi Telecom Corporation, Sudatel, TTCL, Telma, Vodacom, Telkom South Africa, WIOCC and Zambia Telecom. WIOCC is the single largest investor in Eassy with a 29 per cent shareholding. In Kenya, Orange Telkom is the WIOCC shareholder.