By News24 Wire

Growing trade between Africa and Asia has prompted talk of a new mega subsea broadband cable along Africa’s eastern coastline, says Hong Kong ICT firm PCCW.

Last week, PCCW said it along with Telkom, MTN , Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Telecom Egypt (TE) signed a memorandum of understanding to build Africa-1.

The Africa-1 broadband system is planned to stretch 12 000 km along Africa’s eastern coastline towards Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan and could go live next year.

Last year, South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said that trade flows between Africa and Asia had increased over the years, totalling $423bn in 2013.

“As the trade links between Asia and Africa, and between the rest of the world and Africa, have continued to grow, we have responded by increasing both the capacity on our network and the services delivered across it,” PCCW spokesperson Ivan Ho told Fin24.

“We have continued to invest in the continent, both in terms of submarine cable capacity and in terrestrial connectivity linking the landlocked countries in Africa to high-speed subsea capacity.

“Africa-1 is a natural extension of our network strategy which will help to address the increasing capacity demands of the Asia-Africa trade corridor with better levels of reliability, connecting people and businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing economies,” said the spokesperson.

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