The second and final phase of the West Africa Cable System (WACS) upgrade is well on its way towards completion, which is targeted for the end of September.
The completion of phase two would take Namibia to a capacity of 45% from the Initial Allocated Capacity (IAC). IAC means the capacity or bandwidth allocated to the WACS investor/party during the initial phase of the system commissioning.
It is the initial capacity that the system is able to accommodate per investor after the initial phase of system commissioning. All parties have their capacity entitlements when the system reaches its full potential. Hence IAC is a portion of the party’s capacity entitlement.
“Phase 2 is in full swing. All physical equipment installations is completed in all WACS Landing stations. The consortium is now busy commissioning and testing the new capacities added. The completion of phase 2 is scheduled for end of September 2015,” said Head of Corporate Communications & Public Relations at Telecom, Oiva Angula.
Angula further explained that this upgrade was performed at a lower cost than the initial system installation which involved submarine operations as opposed to the current upgrade which was performed only in Landing Stations.
Phase two focuses on the upgrade of Fibre Pair two (South Africa to Nigeria to Portugal), Fibre Pair three (South African to Angola to DRC to Ivory Coast to Portugal) and Fibre Pair four (All WACS Landing Stations including Swakopmund Landing Station).
The Swakopmund Landing Station is also currently transiting for land-locked countries like Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
Phase one of the upgrade took Namibia Namibia’s WACS capacity share to 28% from the initial 11% of capacity available for activation on WACS, the tendering of which was awarded to Huawei Marine Networks (HMN).
“This is a lot of capacity that can serve not only the Namibian consumers but neighbouring countries as well. Total bandwidth landing in Swakopmund after the upgrade phases is 480Gbps which qualifies to put Namibia on a level of an ICT hub that can serve the SADC region with internet access at competitive rates. This is a big gateway to the rest of the world as far as ICT is concerned,” said Angula.
As to what the upgrades will mean for Namibia, Angula said, “This will mean that the ICT industry and the general consumers will have more capacity/bandwidth at its disposal.”