Kenya: Dare Cable Project to Be Launched in Mombasa

28 January 2020

Unites States firm SubCom which is laying East Africa's largest sub marine cable linking Djibouti to Mombasa, has said that the project will be ready for service in June 2020. Phase one of the project landed in Djibouti last week.

The Vice-President - Project Management at SubCom, Debbie Brask said: "We are on schedule to get this system ready for service in June, 2020. This is a testament to our manufacturing team and our strong partnership with Djibouti Telecom and Somtel, and Telkom Kenya."

However, it will take slightly longer for cable to link Somaliland.

INTERNAL POLICIES

The company says Somaliland government has to work out its internal policies before the cable is installed in the country.

"While access to the DARE1 system that delivers up to 30 Tbps of capacity would have been welcome to our country, we have policies in place that dictate on process of availability through major participation by the government in Hargeisa," said Somaliland Postal Services and Communication Minister Abdiwali Sheikh Abdillahi Suufi.

The investors will exclude Somaliland station as negotiations with the government in Hargeisa continues.

The ship, owned and operated by Subcom, resumed operation to install the DARE1 cable at the economic zone, which is over 100 kilometers outside of Somaliland coast.

"All misunderstandings have been resolved between the investors and Somaliland. The ship will proceed to Bosaso, Mogadishu and finally Mombasa," an official said.

The 5,400-kilometer cable system dubbed DARE1 will deliver a capacity of 36 terabits of capacity to the region.

It is as a result of a partnership between Djibouti Telecom, Telkom Kenya, SubCom and Somtel, a telecommunication company that operates in the Horn of Africa.

CABLE ROUTES

The giant companies have been in negotiation over the few years configuring and designing the cable routes.

Telkom Kenya's MD for Carrier Services, Kebaso Mokogi: "Telkom is excited to be the landing party in Nyali, Mombasa, with the DARE-1 consortium, considering the benefits it has in store for the country. This investment will offer diversity in the routing of traffic and will also provide for fibre continuity, cognizant of the risk at the high seas. The development of regional backbones such as the DARE-1 will also increase access to data in the region, with eventual gains being realised on cost for the end consumer."

Upon completion, DARE1 will be the fifth regional submarine fiber optic system Kenya is connected to. The others include SEACOM, East African Marine System, Eastern African Submarine Cable System and Lion2 systems.

The landing stations, located in Djibouti (Djibouti), Bosaso (Puntland), Mogadishu (Somalia) and Mombasa (Kenya), will enhance connectivity in the east African region and enable efficient communications. The two installation vessels are progressing on schedule and marine operations are scheduled to be complete in March 2020.

While the marine vessels and crews work to install the trunk and branches, installation is also underway. The land cable and terminal equipment will be used for the DARE1 system.

"It will guarantee companies and individuals to access faster, secure and reliable internet connection," Mr Mokogi said.

DIGITAL ECONOMY

"Revenues generated by the digital economy should reach US$23,000-billion by 2025, thanks to investments 6.7 times higher than those in other sectors."

Djibouti Telecom's Director-General Mohamed Assoweh Bouh said: "We are looking forward to the cable's operationalization in June, this year, with competitive cross-connect and IP traffic transit costs between Djibouti, Somalia and Kenya, including capacity development and skill transfer."

He added: "We believe this cable system is crucial for the development of the East African region and we are impressed by SubCom's level of dedication and professional project management. We look forward to expanding [the cable system] into other regions and connecting it with other cables to increase accessibility in Africa and across the globe."

The cable will also connect to the global network via multiple cable systems in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

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