WIOCC, the special purpose vehicle that TelOne is part of, has entered a strategic partnership with Cable & Wireless Worldwide to increase the reach and reliability of the WOICC cable system. The new partnership means WIOCC is now effectively invested in two additional submarine cable systems, the Europe India Gateway (EIG) and West Africa Cable System (WACS) that C&W owns.
The new reach is expected to enable WIOCC to provide more resilience of their cable network and also improve the response times of the network between Africa and Europe. Effectively WIOCC now has an undersea fibre ring around Africa.
WIOCC already offers telcos and internet service providers (ISPs) affordable, reliable connectivity to over 400 locations across 20 southern and eastern African countries, utilising more than 50,000 km of shareholder and partner-owned terrestrial fibre reaching landlocked countries like Zimbabwe. This new partnership will enable WIOCC to reach up to 10 additional countries on Africa’s west coast, extending its end-to-end connectivity offering between Africa and Europe.
C&W Worldwide Cable is a global telecoms company providing with interests in 60 major global cable systems and connects to more than 150 countries across Africa, Europe, Asia Pacific, India, the Middle East and North America.
WIOCC’s EASSY cable already provides a 4.72 Terabits per second undersea fibre line along the Africa’s east coast, constituting 70% of the region’s overall fibre capacity. WIOCC is partly owned by a consortium of 14 Africa telecoms operators, most of the government owned operators, and a number of international Development Finance Institutions (DFIs).
The announcement carries a comment by WIOCC CEO, Chris Wood, on the development:
This strategic investment in new high-capacity submarine cable systems strengthens our existing ‘east+west coast diversity’ proposition and provides our carrier clients with even greater network resilience and redundancy. C&W Worldwide is an ideal partner as we share a similar vision of investing in strategic telecom infrastructure to support the growth of Africa.
The EASSy cable was launched commercially last year in July 2010. TelOne’s connection to EASSy (through Mozambique’s TDM) went live early this year with the state owned fixed operator taking up 2.48 Gbps capacity.