Continental coast to coast optic fibre link under one single Autonomous System Number
9 August 2019
African telecommunications group, Paratus, announced that is has inaugurated its contiguous fibre network from southern Africa’s west coast all the across the continent to the east coast. Digitally traversing this almost 5000 kilometre stretch now only takes 31 milliseconds.
The Trans-Kalahari Fiber (TKF) network extends 4160 kilometres from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) cable landing station in Swakopmund to the EASSY cable landing station in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Moreover, the route is under one single Autonomous System Number (ASN), a feat that has been eluding most African operators. The fiber network interconnects with selected operators in various countries en route to ensure reliability in the overall management of the fiber network across the continent.
Paratus Group COO Schalk Erasmus said this project is part of Paratus Africa’s aggressive infrastructure expansion strategy with Nimbus Infrastructure. “Nimbus Infrastructure is a Paratus Africa strategic partner and a significant shareholder in Paratus Namibia.”
Paratus started with construction of the cable route from Windhoek to Swakopmund in 2017 and at the end of April 2018, completed the second-phase route from Windhoek to the Botswana border. Part of the capital used for this project through Namibia was funded by Nimbus Infrastructure.
“This is a huge milestone and also a massive achievement. We can now deliver WACS capacity to land-locked countries in which we have operational branches including Botswana and Zambia,” he said.
Operators on both the east and west coast of Africa are dependent on undersea cable access and when outages occur, are mostly reliant on alternative cables on the same side of the continent. According to Erasmus, this new route allows operators to think differently about their requirements for diverse routes within and around the African continent. “Paratus Africa will continue to extend fiber routes with own infrastructure builds in order to maintain uptime, reliability and scalability to its clients, should there be any degradation in service levels,” he said.
“We believe that the fiber optic network provides high-quality reliability and scalability with high access speeds to contend with the demand on bandwidth. We certainly want to take advantage of the countless opportunities in Africa and we’re therefore engaging other land-locked nations to leverage our fiber backbone and WACS capacity,” he concluded.