SEACOM cable deployed in Somali waters

Mombasa, Jul 17 2009 (Somalilandpress) — The deployment of the much hyped and celebrated Sea Cable System (SEACOM) Africa cable in troubled Somali waters has been completed and the connection of the cable stations directly to India and from India to Europe is expected ahead of its switch date this month.

SEACOM postponed its switch-on date by a month after threats by Somali pirates along the Indian Ocean route from India Kenya disrupted cable installation plans.

SEACOM CEO Brian Herlihy confirmed that all construction for phase one of the cable is now complete and that testing is under way on the fully powered system. Herlihy said all the testing to date is positive and that the company does not anticipate any further delays in lighting the cable.

[ad#Google Adsense (336×280)] The US$600 million SEACOM project is now expected to light up its cable July 23, a month late.

Somali pirates are terrorizing ships along the Gulf of Eden and have out-powered foreign and local navy ships from neighboring Kenya and NATO countries patrolling the waters.

The laying of the cable segment from the Mtunzini landing station in South Africa to Mombasa, Kenya, was completed over two months ago and the cable has already undergone testing.

“In addition to submarine tests, we are concurrently testing our backhaul solutions. These too are in line for our 23 July date,” Herlihy said.

SEACOM is hoping to become the first provider of fiber-optic in the East African region broadband market. With high performance optical transmission equipment, which connects customers to inland networks already installed in Maputo, Mombai and Djibouti landing stations, the cable is ready to start providing broadband services for the first time in East Africa.

A rival cable, the East African Marine System (TEAMS) cable being funded by the Kenyan government and private companies, was the first to land in Mombasa from Fujaira in the Middle East. The owners of the TEAMS cable — including Safaricom, Kenya Data Network, Africa Fibre Net of Uganda and Etisalat of the United Arab Emirates — have promised to fully deploy and test the cable and offers services by September this year, a month behind SEACOM. The two cables are competing to offer African retail carriers equal and open access to inexpensive bandwidth.

SEACOM management said the cable will assist communication carriers in the East and Southern African regions in providing wholesale capacity for global network connectivity.

Source: InfoWorld, July 16, 2009

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