Telecom Namibia Acquires Equiano Subsea Capacity from Sparkle

Telecom Namibia has enhanced its connectivity by acquiring subsea capacity on the Equiano cable from Sparkle to meet Namibia's data demands.By John Tanner, Developing Telecoms
June 13, 2024

Telecom Italia’s international arm Sparkle said on Wednesday it has signed a deal to provide international capacity services to state-owned telco Telecom Namibia via Google’s Equiano subsea cable.

Sparkle said the exclusive agreement provides Telecom Namibia with extra internet capacity and a diversified, low latency route between Africa and Europe. No details were given on how much capacity Telecom Namibia is getting from the deal.

Telecom Namibia CEO Dr. Stanley Shanapinda said the deal will help support Namibia's digital development, as well as growing demand for data from neighbouring countries.

“The Equiano cable's high-speed, low-latency connection will serve as a catalyst for innovation and economic growth across the nation,” he said in a statement.

Sparkle said the deal also helps Telecom Namibia beef up its network resilience in case of outages on the SAT-3 and West Africa Cable System (WACS) cables, which – like Equiano – run along Africa’s western coast between South Africa and Portugal.

Telecom Namibia is a member of the SAT-3 and WACS subsea cable consortiums, although only WACS has a landing station in Namibia. Telecom Namibia co-built Equiano’s landing station in Namibia with Paratus Group that was switched on in June 2023.

Awareness of diverse routing is high across Africa in the wake of numerous subsea cable outages around the African continent this year. In March, four cables off Africa’s western coast – WACS, MainOne, South Atlantic 3 and ACE – were damaged by an undersea canyon avalanche incident off the coast of Cote d’Ivoire.

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