Alcatel-Lucent has won a contract to extend the capacity of a cable due to connect west Africa with Europe.
The WACS cable is due to go into commercial service in 2011, running from Portugal as far as South Africa, with a number of connections down the west coast of Africa. Now the consortium planning the project has decided to increase the capacity from 3.8 to 5.12 terabits a second and to extend the European link from Portugal to the UK.
Kobus Stoeder, chairman of the WACS management committee, said: “This network will enable the landing countries to be served by a new system offering greater capacity and lowering the cost of broadband access in support of innovative applications such as e-education and e-health that can positively impact peoples’ lives.”
The WACS consortium includes 12 operators, including Cable & Wireless, MTN, Tata Communications, Telkom SA and Vodacom. The cable will provide Namibia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Togo and the Republic of Congo with their first direct access to the global submarine cable communication network.
Philippe Dumont, head of Alcatel-Lucent’s submarine network activity, said that the project will be using its 40G technology. “ Combined with our leading-edge protection capabilities, [this] will accelerate the provisioning of connectivity and enhanced network resilience so that end-users can enjoy the best experience possible,” he said.