Eassy Submarine Cable Set to Go Live


Construction of the East Africa Sub marine cable system (EASSy) has been complete and the facility will go live later this week, Zantel Wholesale and Roaming Director Nahaat Mahfoudh told the 'Daily News' on Monday.
He said construction started in Maputo, Mozambique in December 2009 and landed in Dar es Salaam in April 2010. EASSy becomes the second undersea fibre optic cable to land in Tanzania after SEACOM which is currently operational.
The cable has been formally handed over to the West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC) board by the Alcatel sub-marine networks -- the sub-contractors. WIOCC is the largest investor in EASSy with 29 per cent shareholding.
The cable constructed by a consortium of telecommunications companies offers a direct route to Europe, Asia and the Middle East and is the largest cable system in sub Sahara Africa. Zantel is the local investor through its shareholding in WIOCC.
Experts say EASSy would increase competition for internet connectivity in the country and region with the possibility of reducing tariffs. Mahfoudh explained that all was now in place to go LIVE. "All the testing had been done and we are fully operational. We also held a pre-sale symposium to local network operators to explain to them advantages of the cable," he said.
The EASSy cable has the capacity to deliver 1.4 terabytes per second, making it the largest submarine cable system serving the continent. He said that the cable which is in nine countries will offer transit connection through backhaul networks to at least 12 landlocked countries roviding the greatest area coverage.
"'EASSy will be the first east coast system to connect a direct route to Europe, making it the lowest latency system for traffic to key internet peering points in Europe and North America," explained Mr Mahfoudh.
Other cable systems have to connect through either India or UAE to reach Europe, he
said. EASSy is owned by 16 commercial telecom entities with 92 per cent owned by African operators and eight 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