/ 25 July 2011

SA land infrastructure gets R100m boost from Seacom

Seacom, a provider of wholesale broadband services, said on Monday that it had invested R100-million in additional South African infrastructure to meet the continuous growth in demand for broadband services and applications.

The investment included the purchase of physical optical fibre links from Dark Fibre Africa as well as installing the equipment required for Seacom to manage the network linking KwaZulu-Natal’s coast where the group’s marine cable landed to two redundant points of presence (PoPs) in Gauteng.

Initially, 100 gigabit per second (Gb/s) of the fibre would be lit (using 10Gb/s technology) and a further 20 waves were expected to be lit within the next 12 months, it said. The group noted that modern transmission technology was being used with 100 Gb/s per wavelength, which provided the new link with a design capacity of more than 8 terabit per second (Tb/s).

“This is in line with Seacom’s plans to expand the marine portion of the cable to over 4.8 Tb/s,” the group said.

The new capacity would enable Seacom to align current and future customer needs with the explosion in broadband demand, driven by a wave of content-rich applications such as cloud computing to meet enterprise requirements, HD video streaming and IPTV services.

‘Another first in Africa’
Seacom added that this investment would also support its recently launched internet protocol (IP) platform that would drive the proliferation of content created in Africa and the regional hosting of international content.

Brian Herlihy, Seacom chief executive, said: “SA continues to offer tremendous growth opportunities and this investment confirms Seacom’s view that adequate infrastructure will ensure that the market can absorb new capacity within record time.

“In our continuous quest to improve quality of service, this is one of the many investments that we are making to ensure that we provide our customers with the best possible support as we continue to build the African internet, based on low latency, high speed and reliable infrastructure.”

Managed by Seacom and its suppliers, the route was the company’s first co-build of this nature. It would be operated in parallel with Seacom’s existing routes and would provide customers with the benefit of protected services delivered across multiple, physically diverse routes and operated by multiple providers.

Suveer Ramdhani, Seacom’s head of product strategy, said: “This new capacity will benefit the end user by enabling Seacom clients to bring new content-rich products to market in a reliable and economical way.

“The scale of the capacity we are making available on the route is yet another first in Africa and you can expect us to continue rolling out more ground-breaking technological developments in the near future.” — I-Net Bridge