Seacom Seeks Additional Capacity From New Subsea Cables

Seacom aims to partner with submarine operators for capacity boost, tech upgrades, and joins Google's Equiano cable for direct Europe route.By Admire Moyo, ITWeb
March 29, 2023

Cable operator Seacom is looking to partner with more submarine cable operators that are landing on the continent.

The move is aimed at boosting capacity on the Seacom cable, which launched about 14 years ago.

By joining hands with other players, Seacom also wants to keep up with newer technologies in the undersea cable industry.

So said Prenesh Padayachee, chief digital officer at Seacom, in a recent interview with ITWeb, after the Pan-African subsea cable company went live on Google’s recently-launched Equiano cable.

The cable now forms part of Seacom’s subsea cable ecosystem surrounding Africa, which is supported by a continent-wide IP-MPLS network.

Seacom launched Africa’s first broadband submarine cable system along the continent’s eastern and southern coasts in 2009.

In 2012, Seacom and others invested in the West Africa Cable System (WACS), creating a “ring” around Africa and offering fail-safe connectivity.

In 2014, it introduced 10Gbps IP transit routers, and in 2018, it began the planning that would be required to improve SA’s network infrastructure with 100GE capabilities.

Beyond WACS

“For us, as a premium connectivity provider on the continent, it’s important for us to have access to high capacity, as well as protection on the cable system that we run,” stated Padayachee.

“The Seacom cable is located on the east coast, and the Equiano cable gives us capacity on the west coast. So, we can get access to any of these cables across our own network, which is beneficial to us.”

He noted the current west coast cable from which Seacom gets capacity is the older WACS cable. “But the benefit for us to land on Equiano is that WACS lands on a number of countries enroute to Europe.

“What you will find on Equiano is that it is a fibre pair that runs from South Africa directly to Portugal, and then from there, we get terrestrial capacity into other parts of Europe. So, it’s unique in that we don’t get to land in various countries along the way – it gives us the shortest subsea route to Europe.”

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