EASSy to double capacity


Chris Wood, CEO of WIOCC and Co-Chair of the EASSy Management Committee, today announced on behalf of the EASSy submarine fibre-optic cable Management Committee that the EASSy system will be upgraded in 2011, more than doubling the current available capacity on the system.

The EASSy cable system entered commercial operation in August this year with an initial maximum capacity of 3.84 Terabits per second (Tbps).

"Following a successful initial four months of operation, during which the system has enjoyed 100% network reliability, EASSy has taken the decision to increase its ‘lit capacity’ utilising the latest 40Gbps wavelength technology,” the WIOCC said in a press statement.

“The decision was taken to upgrade the system following a review of the rate at which we are activating capacity. By utilising 40Gbps wavelengths, the EASSy system will be able to continue to offer the most cost-effective and reliable solution to customers in East and Southern Africa,” said C. Seenevassen of Mauritius Telecom.

More than 25 telecommunications operators, mainly from Africa, along with a number of global operators who invested in EASSy, have activated capacity on the system since it went live in July 2010. The system is currently the largest serving Africa and is capable of delivering 3.84 Terabits per second.

“With landing points in every coastal country from South Africa to Sudan, as well as landings in Madagascar and Comores, EASSy provides the most extensive reach on the East African coast and provides onward global connectivity through multiple interconnect points with other fibre-optic systems,” the WIOCC said.

EASSy Chairman Munir Taha, of Sudatel, proudly stated that: “The system has been exceptionally successful since launch earlier this year and has shown the importance of true network resilience to customers throughout the region. As a result, we now see the need to increase available capacity to cater for increased demand from African and International operators. As the EASSy system offers customers the most resilient and lowest latency technical solution for services from Africa to Europe, it is becoming the system of choice for many African Telcos and ISPs.”

Chris Wood, CEO of WIOCC, the largest investor in the cable, explained: “The level of capacity sales in the first few months of operation has outstripped our initial forecasts, and so we have taken the decision to bring forward the first upgrade of the system.

“EASSy’s 100% reliability record has begun to change the game in Africa. For the first time, truly reliable services are being offered in the region, allowing ISPs and Telcos the opportunity to provide world class service for their customers.”

“The change in focus from one purely relating to price, to that of “best value” and quality, shows that the market is maturing. The increased demand for capacity on EASSy is a clear indication that quality is key and is a message to other network operators – customers will not accept second best and demand reliability.”

The WOICC said delivering the lowest cost base to the owners and purchasers of capacity on the system has always been a key objective. “EASSy has been in negotiations with potential providers of the planned upgrade for a number of months and will shortly be awarding the contract to install the necessary equipment. The process of inviting multiple potential suppliers to present proposals for the upgrade has enabled EASSy to once again deliver the best technical solution at the lowest cost”, said Jacques van der Walt, Chairman of the Procurement Group responsible for technical aspects of EASSy.