9 February 2011

History was made in the Namibian telecommunications sector when by Telecom Namibia successfully landed the much awaited West Africa Cable System (WACS) in Swakopmund on 8 February.

The project which was jointly executed by Telecom Namibia and Paris-based Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks is expected to mark the beginning of cheaper bandwidth in the country.

The Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Joel Kaapanda assisted by his Botswana counterpart Frank Ramsden pulled the underwater sea cable to the shore to connect it with the landing station at Swakopmund at the commission ceremony at the costal town.

The cable ship, Le De Brehat, had positioned a day earlier, as crew members prepared the seabed for the landing of the cable. Divers laid the cable on the seabed the previous day, and a crew on shore pulled the cable into the beach manhole the next morning. The cable runs underground Swakopmund to its connectivity position at the Telecom Namibia technical building situated at the town.

Namibia and the Botswana contributed U$37.5 million each to secure the WACS landing point.

"We are at the dawn of an infrastructure revolution on the Namibian ICT landscape where broadband communication services will be further enhanced to benefit business, industry, internet community, academia and the entire Namibian population," Minister Kaapanda said.

The 14 000 kilometer cable will bring direct connectivity between Namibia, West Africa, the United Kingdom and the rest of the world with a design capacity of 5.12 terabit.

Managing Director of Telecom Namibia Frans Ndoroma said this equals to the download of 8000 DVDs in 60 seconds or 8 million MP3 files during the same time.

"The capacity of WACS is designed such that it has several terabytes that can sustain Namibia for the next 20 years. With this in place we can expect an increase in data speed, improve voice quality and allow video conferencing through affordable and available bandwidth," Ndoroma added.

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