Zimbabwe is poised to benefit from a deal announced yesterday between SEACOM and Telecomunicacoes de Mocambique (TDM), Mozambique’s telecoms parastatal. The company has been granted the go ahead to connect our landlocked country to the undersea cable. This is expected to have a positive impact on corporate and individual consumers in the not too distant future.
A direct link through Mozambique will reduce costs of connection and avail greater bandwidth and reliability to local IAPs and ISPs, supplementing the country’s existing international fibre connections.
TDM will work with SEACOM by contributing its national fibre-optic grid for this purpose. According to a statement released by SEACOM, TDM has allowed the company to link Zimbabweans to the 13 700 KM cable running along the coast. Financial terms of the agreement were not released.
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Internet Access Providers expected to immediately benefit from this deal are Africom, PowerTel, and Masawara’s Telerix. These IAPs have invested in laying fibre connecting Zimbabwe and Mozambique through the border city of Mutare.
Africom connected to TDM last year back in September 2010. Telerix (bought by Masawara in January this year), in partnership with state owned operator PowerTel, also has an overhead fibre cable running to Mutare.
Another undersea cable that is redefining Zimbabwe’s telecoms space is the East African Submarine System (EASSy), of which Telone is a shareholder and is connected to (through Mozambique). The continent’s internet bandwidth capacity is witnessing exponential growth as a result of African driven initiatives like SEACOM, EASSY and WACS among others. The country and continent is slowly but surely riding itself on an overdependence on expensive and inconsistent satellite connections. SEACOM is 76.56% African owned.