Telecom Namibia has joined a multinational consortium of leading telecommunications operators to help fund a multi-million undersea optic fibre cable to be known as West Africa Cable System (WACS).

This follows the signing of a Construction and Maintenance Agreement (C&MA) and Supply Contract for the implementation of the West Africa Cable System (WACS) in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 8 April 2009.

WACS is a submarine fibre optic cable that will link countries in Southern Africa, Western Africa and Europe, with at least 3.84 terabits per second (Tbp/s) of international bandwidth. Planned landing points include Namibia, South Africa, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Côte d´Ivoire, Cape Verde, Canary Islands, Portugal and the United Kingdom. The landings in Namibia, the DRC, the Republic of Congo and Togo will provide the first direct connections for these countries to the global submarine cable network.

Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks has been contracted to supply the 14,000 km long cable system with all associated landing points, which is expected to be ready for service by 2011.

Alcatel-Lucent specialises in the development, manufacture, installation, management and maintenance of state-of-the-art undersea telecommunications cable networks.

Costing about US$600-million (about N$5,420 million), the project has brought together a multitude of nations and some of the world´s most influential telecommunications players in a joint effort to use state-of-the-art technology in linking more people more efficiently than ever before.

The West Africa Cable System represents a significant telecommunications infrastructure investment through a joint effort of a number of African and Global operators and will have ample capacity to serve the region`s international connectivity needs for many years to come.

The telecommunications companies that have signed the WACS Construction and Maintenance Agreement include Telecom Namibia, Angola Telecom, Broadband Infraco, Cable & Wireless, MTN, Portugal Telecom, Sotelco, Tata Communications, Telkom SA, Togo Telecom and Vodacom.

WACS will provide Africa with faster and better connectivity to Europe and the world at far cheaper rates; savings which will be passed onto consumers.

An investment level of 2% for Telecom Namibia is envisaged in this 3.84 Tbp/s 4 fibre Cape Town to the UK system, with an own landing point at Swakopmund. Telecom Namibia´s share of that capacity would be sufficient for the country`s needs for more than 10 years, according to Wessel van der Vyver, General Manager for International Services at Telecom Namibia.

"The agreements signed make the WACS broadband sea cable a reality for us, and with it access to much cheaper, much faster fibre optic links between countries in the south and west of the continent to the rest of the world," Van der Vyver said.

For further details, please contact:

Oiva Angula

Senior Manager: Corporate Communications and Public Relations

Tel: (+264 61) 201 2448

Fax: (+264 61) 201 2074

Cell: (+264 61) 81128 7886

Switch: (+264 61) 60100 9009

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Website: www.telecom.na

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