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Cape Verde
Technology | Economy - Development

Cape Verde joins West African telecom cable

afrol News, 16 April - Cape Verde is be connected to the recently signed-off US$ 600-million West African Cable System (WACS), going along Africa's Atlantic coast from Europe to South Africa and boosting bandwidth capacity.

According to local media, Cape Verde Telecom (CVT) has now signed two deals in South Africa to be part of the WACS undersea cable, worth around euro 30 million. The contracts secure a Cape Verde landing of the giant project.

Only last week, the final agreement of funding and constructing the WACS project was signed off in South Africa, involving a multinational consortium of telecom operators from Europe and Africa.

The 14,000-kilometres long WACS cable system aims at boosting bandwidth capacity in Africa and is expected to be ready for service by early 2011. Planned landing points include now South Africa, Namibia, Angola, the Congo Kinshasa (DRC), Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Cape Verde, Canary Islands, Portugal and the UK - but not all of these are yet signed off.

For Cape Verde, this is the second undersea telecom cable connection with the outside world. The current connection with Europe - the "Atlantis II" fibre optic cable - is said to be too suspicious to errors, and its monopoly has on many occasions left the archipelago totally disconnected.

According to the Executive Manager of CV Telecom, Nuno Leite, an alternative to "Atlantis II" was now necessary. Mr Leite told Cape Verde's state broadcaster 'RTC' that "two feasible quality alternatives" were needed to "avoid the isolation of the country in the case of problems with the current cable."

CV Telecom presented the assignment to WACS as "a project of extreme importance and size" to assure good connectivity in Cape Verde, and also to assure further economic growth on the archipelago.

Developers had assured CV Telecom that the new undersea cable would be connected to Cape Verde and thus be fully operational by 2011. The WACS cable system, with a capacity of 3.84 Terabits a second, was said to have a minimum lifespan of 15 years.

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