Equiano cable activated in Namibia

13th June 2023

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Google’s 12 fibre pair, 144 Tb/s Equiano cable has been activated in Namibia, marking a milestone in the delivery of enhanced connectivity to Namibia and the broader Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, Paratus, the cable’s landing partner in Namibia, has announced.

Equiano, with its landing points in Lisbon, Benin, Nigeria, St Helena, Namibia and South Africa, is set to “revolutionise” cable diversity and create new economic opportunities throughout the region.

“Today marks a major milestone in the development of the Equiano story, bringing significant opportunities to the region,” said Paratus Group CEO Schalk Erasmus.

The Equiano subsea cable, which landed in Namibia in June 2022, is projected to increase Internet penetration in Namibia by 7.5% by 2025, according to an economic impact assessment conducted by Africa Practice and Genesis Analytics.

“It strengthens Namibia's international connectivity demands and, importantly, integrates seamlessly with the extensive terrestrial fibre network owned and operated by Paratus,” he pointed out.

The significant increase in available capacity on the Equiano subsea cable, which provides 20 times more capacity than existing cables connecting Europe to South Africa, enables Paratus to export this capacity to the rest of the region, fostering connectivity and progress across the SADC region.

“This unparalleled capacity, which is enabled by open access through the landing station in Swakopmund, unlocks unprecedented potential for all operators,” he explained, noting that Equiano opens up new opportunities for competition, fair pricing and expanded choices, unlocking the potential for economic growth and digital transformation.

Neighbouring countries, including landlocked nations, will benefit from Equiano's presence through various cross-border terrestrial fibre networks.

“Paratus has strategically built an expansive terrestrial fibre network across Southern Africa, including essential cross-border links from its Equiano landing station in Namibia to Zambia and Botswana, and from Botswana to Johannesburg,” Erasmus said, highlighting the company’s investments of over $40-million over the last five years to build robust infrastructure that can ensure the lowest latency from Johannesburg to Lisbon and London.

The result is improved latency, reduced to sub 135ms, with future improvements expected to bring the latency down even further to sub 125ms from Johannesburg to Lisbon and about 150ms from Johannesburg to London, he explained.

“With the activation of the Equiano cable in Namibia, the country and the entire African region are poised for remarkable progress, benefiting from increased capacity, enhanced reliability and reduced latency.

“This milestone will deliver improved connectivity to all Africans, aligning with our mission to transform Africa through exceptional digital infrastructure and customer service,” he concluded.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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