Angola Cables, Nokia Trial 1st Africa-U.S. Optical Fiber Link

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
Optical fiber
Angola Cables and Nokia worked together to create an Africa-U.S. optical fiber link between Boca Raton in Florida and Luanda in Angola. A specialized Angola Cables ship rolls out fiber-optic cable near the Luanda coastline. Image supplied by Angola Cables

Angolan telecommunications operator Angola Cables and Finnish consumer electronics firm Nokia have partnered to complete a 7,851-mile direct fiber-optic connection between Africa and North America, according to a press release.

Until now, internet traffic between Africa and North America was linked through Europe across the Atlantic to the U.S.

A first-ever Africa-U.S. optical fiber link connects Boca Raton, Florida with the Angolan capital of Luanda.

The new fiber optic cable represents the most direct, fastest link for data exchange and high-performing connection between the U.S. and Africa, Commsmea reports.

The South Atlantic Cable System undersea cable between Angola and Brazil was used in conjunction with the Monet System fiber optic cable between Brazil and Boca Raton to connect Africa and the U.S. via fiber cable link.

A trial of this direct optical route between Africa and the U.S. was successfully completed on Nov. 11, 2019, and the network is now available for commercial use.

The connection between Luanda and Boca Raton has been reduced to 123.4 milliseconds — reducing latency by 30 percent compared to previous routes, according to CapacityMedia.

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The first Africa-U.S. optical fiber link

The Angola Cables-owned South Atlantic Cable System — the first fiber cable link between Africa and South America — was used to complete the Africa-U.S. link.

The undersea fiber cable broke ground in August 2017 and was completed in 2018, connecting Luanda with Fortaleza in Brazil.

That South Atlantic Cable System was used in conjunction with the consortium-owned Monet System which connects Fortaleza, Brazil with Boca Raton, Florida to create the direct link between the U.S. and Angola.

The MONET System is owned by Brazilian operator Algar Telecom, Angola Cables, Uruguay’s state-owned telecoms firm ANTEL, and U.S. tech giant Google.

Nokia’s digital signal processor technology is used to transmit optical wavelengths directly from Angola to Florida, according to the press release.