WACS cuts internet costs
Mobile Telecommunication Limited (MTC), Namibia’s leading mobile network operator, has welcomed the successful in Service Declaration of the West African Cable System (WACS) following a live activation and hand-over of the project from the supplier to the owners (consortium) in Cape Town on 11 May. The bandwidth first landed on the Namibian shores at Swakopmund early last year.
Designed to support present and future Internet services, WACS – a 14,500km-long optical fiber – is a high capacity broadband undersea cable system that is aimed at linking Southern and West Africa to Europe. The system makes use of dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) technology, which enables bidirectional communications over one strand of fiber, as well as the multiplication of capacity.
At the same time that WACS landed in Swakopmund, MTC assured fiber backbone connectivity with the same DWDM technology and with a bandwidth of 40 Gigabits per second. That backbone will transport MTC capacity from the landing station at Swakopmund countrywide. For more dense areas, like Windhoek, MTC has also laid a groundwork fiber ring to connect its base stations and the backbone.
Miguel Geraldes, MTC’s managing director, explained that this process “is similar to a complete highway from the centre of a Namibian town straight to London, and now also with 4G assuring the last small mile between the base station and our customers, everything will be connected in very high speed.” “Currently there is enough capacity through South Africa to connect MTC to the Internet worldwide, although the connection is not perfect because one needs to jump several hopes (transit points via South Africa, to connect to other submarine cables, before transmitting to Europe) and that this generates a slower latency (the time the internet reply to a click)”said Geraldes.
Geraldes said that the future demand of internet usage if continued in the current model of transiting through South Africa, will be an expensive and costly affair.
“Only the WACS can handle that demand in an affordable way,” said Geraldes.
He added that with the recent introduction of MTC 4GLTE “MTC’s involvement in WACS is a long term investment of US$15 million in the WACS and another US$10 million in the national fibers that will secure long term capacity for the country. The investment is especially critical in view of the MTC’s 4G and that MTC is looking forward to transforming and taking full benefit of WACS and translating it into technology that will improve people’s lives.”
The WACS system will be in use by June 2012.