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Cable Technology Feature Article

April 17, 2009

Tata Communications Participates in West African Cable System

By Jai C.S., TMCnet Contributor

Tata Communications, a provider of a wide range of communication services including transmission, IP, converged voice, mobility, managed network connectivity, hosting and storage, managed security, managed collaboration and business transformation, has announced its participation in the $600 million new West African Cable System (WACS), a Submarine cable connecting southern Africa and Europe.
Tata Communications (News - Alert) officials said this investment is aimed at boosting the company’s global reach and enhancing its investments in the region.
Set up by a consortium of multinational telecommunications operators, the WACS is a submarine fiber optic cable that will link countries in Southern Africa, Western Africa and Europe, with at least 3.84 terabits per second of international bandwidth.
The planned landing points of the connection include: South Africa, Namibia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Côte 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.
To implement this cable system, telecom operators are signing a Construction and Maintenance Agreement (C&MA) and Supply Contract and Tata Communications is the latest one to join this list.
Tata Communications is a member of the $62.5 billion Tata Group.  The company’s reach includes a national fiber backbone network and access to networks in over 60 cities and 125 Pops in India as well as strategic investments in South African converged services operator, Neotel, Sri Lanka and Nepal and, a likely 50 percent ownership in China Enterprise Communications (News - Alert) (CEC) offering total VPN coverage in China.
"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 (News - Alert) in bringing added diversity into South Africa." said Byron Clatterbuck, senior vice president, Global Transmission Services at Tata Communications.
Costing about $600-million, the WACS project is believed to represent a significant telecom infrastructure investment between various African and Global operators. The project is said to have ample capacity to serve the region's international connectivity needs for many years to come and Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) Submarine Networks will be supplying a 14,000 km long cable system with all associated landing points. This is expected to be ready by 2011.

Jai C.S. is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jai's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi