by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG – THE Equiano undersea cable is poised to enable the South African government to expand internet access and enhance economic growth.
The plan is to enable access for 80 percent of the population by 2024.
Openserve, the telecommunications service provider has teamed up with Google as a landing partner in South Africa for the Equiano undersea cable.
Openserve will be providing its cable station facility at Melkbosstrand as the local landing station and will offer terrestrial services connecting the cable landing to South African carrier neutral data centres.
Equiano will run from Western Europe, along the west coast of Africa, to South Africa.
This private undersea cable will be the first submarine facility to incorporate optical switching at the fibre-pair level as opposed to the traditional approach of wavelength-level switching.
“Through the partnership with Google, Openserve will have access to a new submarine system offering connectivity to Europe, providing additional diversity for international communications which should lead to improved customer service levels for international access, services and products,” said Openserve Chief Executive Officer, Althon Beukes.
While South Africa continues to advance its internet infrastructure, penetration in Sub-Saharan Africa sits just at 26 percent.
According to Huawei’s 2020 Global Connectivity Index, South Africa ranks 56th out of 79 countries, ranking as one of the connectivity adopters which experience the largest GDP growth from investment in Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure.
“As South Africa explores more options to meet the growing demand for connectivity, Equiano is expected to accelerate digital transformation and stimulate the digital economy, boosting overall economic growth,” Beukes said.
Beukes believes the increased internet connectivity that the advanced undersea cable will offer will also bring about new employment and business opportunities as this connectivity will allow businesses to fully tap into digital transformation and drive innovation.
“Enhanced internet access will help businesses to digitise operations and increase their capabilities, creating new revenue streams,” Beukes said.
– CAJ News