Angola Builds First Africa-South America Undersea Fiber Cable, Testing Underway

Written by Peter Pedroncelli

The first direct undersea fiber cable link between Africa and South America is complete, with Angola Cables currently testing the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS).

Connecting Angola to Brazil, and therefore Africa to South America, the submarine cable known as the South Atlantic Cable System arrived in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza in February, and is therefore fully built and testing on the system has begun, according to Techcentral.

The undersea fiber cable broke ground in August 2017, and construction work on the data center in Fortaleza, Brazil is nearly completed.

Now that the direct submarine cable is successfully installed on the Brazilian side of operations, the cable is expected to become fully operational in the next three months.

The 6,300-km submarine cable will be able to offer a capacity of 40 Tbps between South America and Africa and a latency of approximately 63 milliseconds, according to MyBroadband.

undersea fiber cable
The South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) is complete and in the testing phase. Photo – AP – Ariana Cubillos

The existing link offers a latency of around 350 milliseconds, so this will be a great improvement in terms of performance.

Until now, internet traffic between South Africa and Brazil would need to link through Europe across the north Atlantic to the U.S. and then on to a cable system linking to South America.

The South Atlantic Cable System will connect to South African telecommunications firms and operators using existing submarine cable systems that run along Africa’s west coast to Cape Town, according to Telecompaper.

First undersea fiber cable almost operational

Angola Cables CEO Antonio Nunes explained the benefits that the new undersea fiber cable will provide for all of the newly connected parties, including the lowest latency between various systems.

“A lot of software and systems that are latency dependent will be using this connectivity,” Nunes said, according to Techcentral.

“From the point that SACS is operational, South America will be able to connect to Europe, avoiding the U.S., and to Asia, avoiding the U.S. and Europe,” he added.

“One issue is the data centre in Fortaleza is a little bit late (in construction), so we need a way to start deploying the service on the SACS system before the data centre is ready. It will not be later than September,” Nunes said.