Nairobi — The East African Marine Systems (TEAMS) undersea is now ready for commercial service. This announcement was made following a meeting of the UAE-Kenya Cable System Management Committee held today. The Management Committee or “ MC” brings together TEAMS Limited and Etisalat, the UAE-based company that holds a 15% stake in the venture.

“The MC accepted the recommendation from their sub-committees that after extensive testing, he UAE – Kenya cable is now ready for commercial service. All the TEAMS shareholders may now access the cable and commence commercial deployment,” said TEAMS chairman Michael Joseph. He added that a formal inauguration ceremony was being planned and the date would be communicated to the public shortly.

The commercial launch of the TEAMS cable system is expected to further improve internet services in the country by enhancing the speeds and the competitive pricing of international connectivity bandwidth.

The TEAMS project, which was commenced in 2007 as a public private partnership is the country’s premier undersea cable venture. It brings together the Government and a consortium of Kenyan investors under the umbrella of TEAMs Limited, which holds 85% of the stake, while the residual 15% is in the hands of UAE-based Etisalat.

The shareholders of TEAMs Limited include the Government of Kenya, which has retained a 20% interest in the venture. Others are Safaricom (22.5%), Telkom (22.5%), Essar Telecom (10%), Kenya Data Networks (10%) Wananachi Telecoms (5%), Access Kenya and Jamii Telecoms.

All shareholders of TEAMS Limited have been allocated a share of the available capacity in proportions equivalent to their shareholding in the company. They are then at liberty to on-sell their capacity as individual entities, depending on the onward connectivity deals they are able to negotiate from Fujairah, UAE and other operational factors.