Waves of change

Equiano subsea cable offers greater capacity

17 February 2021 | Technology

Along with the news that Paratus is the landing party for the Equiano subsea cable in Namibia, the former also welcomes private licensed operator Demshi Investment Holdings as an investor.
The deal realizes the vision of providing Namibian networks and their customers with greater capacity. In turn, this will enable more product options, stimulate economic growth and support a competitive telecommunication sector.
According to Paratus group CEO Barney Harmse, significant investment has been made in landing the Equiano cable in Namibia. “We welcome Demshi as a private licensed operator, and their investment in additional capacity made available by the Equiano subsea cable project. This matches our goals of delivering unlimited connectivity and of building Africa’s quality network with all the Internet capacity it needs.”
Paratus has operations in six SADC countries, with its extended network providing a satellite connectivity-focused service in 28 African countries, and to thousands of remote customers across the continent. The additional capacity offered by the Equiano cable, which is the largest in Africa, further strengthens the Paratus SADC footprint and European network connection, as well as the operator’s long-term growth strategy.

New connection
In 2019 Google announced its Equiano subsea cable project, connecting Africa with Europe, running along the west coast of Africa, between Portugal and South Africa. The Equiano cable incorporates new technology that enables approximately 20 times more network capacity than the last cable built to serve this region and provides flexibility to add and reallocate capacity in different locations as needed.
Demshi CEO Werner Shilunga said their investment in the Equiano cable capacity means that they will be able to offer clients international internet capacity, a much-needed diversified route, security of supply and unmatched quality of service. “We look forward to participating in a bright future of connectivity in Namibia.”
The increased capacity from the Equiano cable will provide Namibia with the necessary redundancy as a connectivity backup, a requirement that became evident when WACS & SAT3 subsea cable outages were experienced recently and which resulted in significant Internet downtime and adverse effects for businesses in Namibia and SADC that did not have redundant connectivity solutions.
Harmse says there is a critical requirement to ensure that their network is strengthened with diverse routes across Africa to minimise the impact of any single upstream network dependency.
The Namibian landing station is scheduled to be completed in the latter part of 2021, with the Equiano cable expected to land in the second half of 2022.

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