5 January 2018

Africa: New Subsea Cable to Connect Africa, Asia

Photo: The East African
(file photo).

Another submarine telecommunications system may soon connect South Africa and countries along Africa's eastern shoreline to the rest of the world. Huawei Marine has announced that it will soon finish a "desktop study" for a new subsea cable system, called the Peace Subsea Cable, to connect South Africa, Kenya, Djibouti, Somalia and Pakistan (Gwadar and Karachi).

Peace is short for "Pakistan East Africa Cable Express". The cable system has been designed by Chinese company Tropic Science. Huawei Marine will begin a marine survey on January 15, with the Peace system expected to be ready for service in the fourth quarter of 2019. The first phase will span some 6 200km and will link Pakistan (Gwadar and Karachi), Djibouti, Somalia and Kenya.

The second phase will provide an "extended option" to South Africa and Europe with a total length of about 13 000km. The submarine cable system is based on 200G dense wave-division multiplexing technology and have a design capacity of 60Tbit/s.

"The Peace system will provide a new information express way for interconnection among Asia, Africa and Europe by connecting with existing land and subsea cables," Huawei Marine and Tropic Science said in a joint statement.

Tropic Science chairman He Liehui said the system will become "an important infrastructure for Asian, African and European intercontinental communications and promote economic development of the regions". Huawei Marine chief operating officer Mao Shengjiang said the Peace cable, when completed, will "greatly facilitate the communication between China and Africa". In November, Tropic Science and Huawei Marine signed the construction contract for the project.

The east coast of Africa is already served by two submarine systems, Eassy and Seacom, with others planned -- including a possible cable backed by Liquid Telecom, to be called Liquid Sea. -- NewsCentral Media

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