West African Cable to Boost Namibia's Telecoms

Telecom Namibia’s chief executive officer Frans Ndoroma says the 5th ICT summit which opened in the capital yesterday has an important role to play in identifying best practices for a robust ICT sector in Namibia and other SADC countries that will benefit from the West Africa Cable System that landed on the Namibian coast earlier this year.

He said Telecom is investing N$45 million as part of a three-phased nationwide terrestrial fibre backbone infrastructure with the aim of increasing capacity on existing fibre infrastructure to 40Gig to fully utilise the WACS capacity.

Ndoroma said now that the country has substantial international bandwidth, the ICT industry needs to get its act together to deliver world class services, enabling business and the national economy and those of the region to compete internationally.

WACS, is the under sea fibre optic cable connection from Portugal to South Africa.

Ndoroma said his company is in a better position to provide the right and relevant infrastructure for business and country to take advantage of new possibilities offered by WACS in addressing the diverse challenges confronting the industry to bridge the digital divide.

Ndoroma said the undersea fibre cable would have a capacity of 5.2 terabits per second, which is about 130 million times faster than dial up internet service.

“With this remarkable capacity, the WACs cable has been designed to support present and future internet, e-commerce, data, video, and voice service. The system makes use of dense wavelenght division multiplexing technology, which enables bidirectional communications over one stand of fibre as well as the multiplication of capacity,” he told the participants to the summit.

He said the WACS cable presents Namibia and West Africa with an opportunity to significantly cut telecommunications cost, bridge the digital divide, promote self-sufficiency in terms of bandwith and build a successful ICT industry.

Ndoroma invited customers to join Telecom Namibia to fully exploit the connectivity.

He said what was learned from other countries was the lack of an extensive national backhaul that severely limited the full utilisation of an international cable like WACS by landing party and curb the possibility of land locked neighboring countries to access such capacity.

“In anticipation of linking Namibia to a submarine cable, Telecom Namibia has deployed about 8000 kilometers of optic fibre cables which have inter-connected all major towns in Namibia with a fibre point of presence. We also have extended our fibre cables to the borders of Angola, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa,” he said.

Telecom Namibia has already deployed an IP/MPLS network countrywide with PoPs in all towns.

The backbone network has a 10Gig capacity and is closed into the Erongo, Omaheke, Kunene and Southern fibre ring networks.

Ndoroma said Telecom continues to upgrade its communications infrastructure with new generation technologies and applications, and consequently increasing its service quality that leads to an increase of customer satisfaction.