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South Africa: Liquid South Africa Announces Completion of Durban – East London – Cape Town Fibre Optic Route

On 29 March 2021, Liquid Intelligent Technologies (Liquid) South Africa, announced the completion of two terrestrial fibre optic routes totalling 1,767-km, the NLD5 and NLD6 fibre optic routes connecting Durban to East London and Cape Town. The National Long Distance (NLD) network is being built by a consortium consisting of MTN, Vodacom, Neotel (now Liquid South Africa) and South African National Road Agency Limited (SANRAL), that began the deployment of long haul fibre optic network in 2009. “The completion of these two digital corridors is yet another milestone achieved as part of our on-going investment into the South African economy,” said Deon Geyser, CEO Liquid Intelligent Technologies, South Africa in a company press release. “Liquid has been instrumental in the fruition of routes 1 through to 8, providing a digital backbone that connects metropolitan cities like Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban to more remote areas like Nelspruit Bloemfontein, Lady Smith, Mthatha”. Source:... Read More →


Djibouti: DARE 1 Submarine Cable Enters Service

On 29 March 2021, Djibouti Telecom officially announced the entry into service of the Djibouti Africa Regional Express 1 (DARE 1) submarine cable. The 4,854-km DARE 1 cable has a capacity of 36 Tbps, and runs from Djibouti City (Djibouti) to Mombasa (Kenya), with landings in Bossaso (Puntland) and Mogadishu (Somalia). DARE 1 will significantly strengthen regional connectivity in East Africa: it is notably the eighth submarine cable to land in Djibouti, second cable in Bossaso and Mogadishu, and is the fifth cable to land in Mombasa. According to the Director General of Djibouti Telecom, M. Mohamed Assoweh Bouh, the DARE 1 cable has been in service since early February 2021. In May 2016, a consortium of operators signed the Construction and Maintenance Agreement (C&MA) for the DARE submarine cable, awarding the supply contract to TE Subcom (see Djibouti: Djibouti Africa Regional Express (DARE) Consortium Sign Construction and Maintenance Agreement). On 4 December 2019, Djibouti Telecom,... Read More →


DRC: Liquid Announces Completion of Fibre Route From Muanda To Kinshasa And Its Regional Fibre Optic Network

On 16 March 2021, Liquid Intelligent Technologies announced that it had completed the deployment of a fibre optic network in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) running from the coastal town of Muanda to the capital city of Kinshasa, with onward connectivity into its regional network of over 73,000-km. The West Africa Cable System (WACS) lands at Muanda, and officially entered service in July 2013 (see DRC: WACS Submarine Cable Enters Service In DRC). Previously, in November 2019, Liquid Telecom announced that it had completed a 2,600-km fibre optic route running across the DRC from Muanda to Kinshasa (the capital), and then to Lubumbashi connecting other cities in between including Kikwit, Kananga and Kolwezi (see DRC: Liquid Telecom Announces Completion of Direct Terrestrial Fibre Link Connecting East to West Africa Across DRC). From Lubumbashi the route then crosses the DRC border into Zambia, integrating with the rest of Liquid Telecom’s regional terrestrial fibre network including... Read More →


Tanzania: NICTBB Building Cross-Border Fibre Link To Mozambique

The Tanzanian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has announced that it has signed a contract to extend the National ICT Backbone (NICTBB) to interconnect with neighbouring Mozambique. The 72-km extension will run from Mangaka to Mtambaswala on the border with Mozambique, from where it will interconnect across the Unity bridge spanning the Ruvuma river to Negomano in Mozambique (see also Mozambique: Movitel (Viettel) Plans Cross-Border Fibre Route To Tanzania Via Umoja Bridge). The contract valued at TSh 2.4 billion (USD 1 million) was signed in January 2021, according to the Citizen newspaper, and the network is due for completion in July 2021. The NICTBB currently reaches the borders of six neighbouring countries, including at Kabanga and Manyovu (Burundi), Rusomo (Rwanda), Mutukula (Uganda), Sirali, Namanga and Horohoro (Kenya), Tunduma (Zambia) and Kasumulo (Malawi). Source: The Citizen, Agence Ecofin  Read More →


Rwanda: Rwanda’s International Bandwidth Reaches 125 Gbps During 2020

Rwanda reached an equipped inbound international Internet bandwidth of 125.510 Gbps in December 2020, according to latest figures published by the Rwanda Utilities and Regulatory Agency (RURA). This was a 28% increase compared to 98.480 Gbps in December 2019, 54.874 Gbps in 2018, 25.370 Gbps in 2017, and 10.362 Gbps in 2016 (see Rwanda: Rwanda’s International Bandwidth Increases By 81% During 2019). Rwanda’s equipped international bandwidth was 130.383 Gbps in September 2020, 111.870 Gbps in June 2020, and 95.843 Gbps in March 2020 according to RURA. Around half of this equipped international bandwidth is actually utilized: according to RURA, Rwanda’s used international bandwidth was 61.469 Gbps in December 2020, compared to 58.018 Gbps in September 2020, 53.351 Gbps in June 2020, 39.993 Gbps in March 2020, and 43.587 Gbps in December 2019. Source: RURA  Read More →


Africa: METISS Submarine Cable Enters Service Connecting Mauritius, Reunion and Madagascar to South Africa

The METISS (MElting poT Indianoceanic Submarine System) submarine cable entered service on 5 March 2021, according to a press release issued by CEB Mauritius. The 3,200-km submarine cable has a design capacity of 24 Tbps and connects Mauritius, La Reunion and Madagascar to South Africa. The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) signed an agreement with a consortium of operators for the construction of the cable project in June 2016 (see Africa: IOC Announces Planned METISS Submarine Cable Connecting Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion), and the construction and maintenance agreement for the METISS cable was signed on 13 December 2017 by six operators: Telma (Madagascar), CEB FiberNet (Mauritius), Emtel (Mauritius), Canal+ (La Réunion), SFR Réunion (La Réunion), and Zeop (La Réunion). In South Africa, Liquid Telecom inaugurated the cable landing station at Umbogotwini (KwaZulu-Natal) in December 2019, and provides onward connectivity within South Africa. The deployment of the cable was completed... Read More →


Tunisia: Tunisia’s International Bandwidth Reaches 910 Gbps In 2020

Tunisia’s international Internet bandwidth reached 910 Gbps in December 2020, according to latest statistics published by Instance Nationale des Télécommunications (INTT), a growth rate of 17% compared to 780 Gbps in December 2019 (see Tunisia: Tunisia’s International Bandwidth Reaches 780 Gbps In 2019). Of this total equipped capacity of 910 Gbps, INTT report that 760 Gbps was utilised by December 2020, compared to 486.2 Gbps in 2019. The Ministère des Technologies de l'information et de la Communication (Mincom) previously reported that Tunisia’s international bandwidth was 180 Gbps in December 2015, 130 Gbps in December 2014, and 90 Gbps in December 2013.   Source: Instance Nationale des Télécommunications (INTT)  Read More →


Africa: Alcatel Submarine Networks Starts Construction Of Africa-1 Submarine Cable

On 28 January 2021, Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) announced that it had started construction of the Africa-1 submarine cable, following the coming into force of the supply contract with the Africa-1 consortium which is currently formed of Etisalat, Mobily, Pakistan Telecommunication Company and Telecom Egypt. According to a company press release, the Africa-1 system is expected to be ready for operation by end 2023 and will initially have landings in Kenya, Djibouti, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and France. Alcatel says that the system will also land in Sudan, cross Egypt through diverse new terrestrial routes on the way to France, and further connect other countries in the Mediterranean such as Algeria, Tunisia and Italy. The next phase will include additional landings in Yemen and Somalia, as well as an extension from Kenya to South Africa with intermediate landings in Tanzania and Mozambique. This 10,000 km cable will provide 8 fiber pairs to connect... Read More →


Africa: Africa’s International Bandwidth Reaches 15.289 Tbps

Africa’s total inventory of operational fibre optic network reached the milestone of 1 million kilometres during 2018, increasing the number of people living within reach of a fibre optic node in Sub-Saharan Africa to 620 million people. More broadband customers, with more bandwidth per customer, continues to drive Africa’s international Internet bandwidth growth along an exponential curve, reaching 15.289 Tbps by December 2019 Terrestrial Fibre Networks Reach 1.073 Million Route-Km According to the twelfth annual edition of the Africa Telecom Transmission Map published by Hamilton Research for 2020/21, the inventory of operational fibre optic network reached 1,072,649-km by June 2020, compared to 1,025,441-km in 2019, 936,102-km in 2018, 820,397-km in 2017, 762,167-km in 2016, and 622,930-km in 2015. Ten years ago in June 2010, the total fibre inventory was 331,066-km (see chart 1 below). In the twelve months since June 2019, an additional 47,208-km of fibre optic network has entered... Read More →


South Africa: Vumatel’s FTTH Network Reaches 18,000-Km

Vumatel’s residential Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) network in South Africa reached 18,000-km by March 2020 according to Remgro’s 2020 annual report, compared to 16,000-km by March 2019 and 8,000-km in March 2018 (see South Africa: DFA’s Metropolitan and Long-Haul Fibre Optic Network Reaches 13,600-Km). During June 2018, the CIV group acquired a 34.9% stake in Vumatel. Vumatel is an open-access last mile fibre provider, and provides FTTH products and services to Internet Service Providers (ISPs). After the fibre has been installed, Vumatel leases its infrastructure to ISPs, who then provide broadband retail internet services to the end customers. Source: Remgro  Read More →