Tata Communications to participate in West African Cable System

APRIL 16, 2009 -- The company says this investment will further boost its global reach and enhance its investments in the region.

APRIL 16, 2009 -- Tata Communications has announced its participation in the $600 million West African Cable System (see "WACS Consortium and Alcatel-Lucent sign contract to deploy new subsea network" for more information on WACS). The company says this investment will further boost its global reach and enhance its investments in the region.

A multinational consortium of leading telecommunications operators recently signed a construction and maintenance agreement (C&MA) and supply contract for the implementation of WACS.

WACS is a submarine fiber-optic cable that will link countries in Southern Africa, Western Africa, and Europe, with at least 3.84 Tbps of international bandwidth. The planned landing points include South Africa, Namibia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Cape Verde, Canary Islands, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. The landings in Namibia, the DRC, the Republic of Congo, and Togo will provide the first direct connections for these countries to the global submarine cable network.

"We are very pleased to be participating in the West Africa Cable System. The investment is another step for Tata Communications in bolstering its capabilities in the African market, and will enhance our service propositions together with our partner Neotel in bringing added diversity into South Africa," says Byron Clatterbuck, senior vice president, global transmission services at Tata Communications.

Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (search Lightwave for Alcatel-Lucent) has been contracted to supply the 14,000-km-long cable system with all associated landing points, which is expected to be ready for service by 2011.

The West Africa Cable System represents a significant telecommunications infrastructure investment through a joint effort of a number of African and global operators and expected to have ample capacity to serve the region's international connectivity needs for many years.

The telecom participants that have signed the WACS Construction and Maintenance Agreement include Angola Telecom, Broadband Infraco, Cable & Wireless, MTN, Telecom Namibia, Portugal Telecom, Sotelco, Tata Communications, Telkom SA, Togo Telecom, and Vodacom.

It is anticipated that WACS will provide Africa with faster and better connectivity to Europe and the world at cheaper rates, savings which will be passed onto consumers.


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