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Ethiopia jumps on SEACOM bandwagon

The Ethiopian government is actively rolling out a US$ 1.5 billion initiative to improve the country’s telecommunications infrastructure. Amongst other projects relating to landline and mobile telecommunications services, the government has selected SEACOM to provide international broadband connectivity.

SEACOM, the privately funded and over three quarter African owned submarine fibre optic cable system, has been awarded an agreement to supply Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) with international broadband fibre connectivity via a backhaul link through Djibouti.

Plentiful and readily available bandwidth will result in lower telecommunications costs and new opportunities across many sectors of the Ethiopian economy including ICT industries but also educational, clinical and scientific applications which rely on the real-time sharing of data around the world at lightning fast speed. SEACOM’s enormous capacity also enables new technologies such as high definition TV, peer to peer networks, IPTV, and surging Internet demand at prices significantly lower than currently possible.

Commenting on the international capacity agreement, Mr. Amare Amsalu, ETC CEO, said: ‚SEACOM is ideally suited to provide international connectivity that will complement ETC’s extensive national initiative to link the country’s businesses and end-users with fibre broadband connectivity. The availability of high quality broadband at lower prices will accelerate economic development and educational initiatives that will enhance lives and will also establish Ethiopia as an important commercial centre for Africa and as a regional transit point for other service providers.‚

Brian Herlihy, SEACOM CEO, said: ‚SEACOM is honoured to have been selected by ETC to provide this important international broadband connectivity element to Ethiopia. As we have seen in other countries that gained access to SEACOM, it is only a matter of time before the direct socio-economic benefits created by cheap and readily available bandwidth begin to manifest in Ethiopia and the region.”

SEACOM is a 17,000 km submarine fibre optic cable enabling eastern and southern African countries to connect to the rest of the world via India and Europe and the first such cable to connect the east African coast. This deal marks a growing number of African landlocked countries to be connected to the SEACOM network since its launch in July 2009 with tangible benefits resulting from SEACOM’s arrival already showing across the region. Kenya has seen bandwidth supply grow by 700% whilst Mozambique and Tanzania experienced increases of 850% and 1000% respectively.

As previously stated, SEACOM is committed to continue connecting inland countries to its international network and this agreement marks a further step that now sees landlocked Ethiopia, Uganda and Rwanda gaining access to cheaper and faster international connectivity through SEACOM.

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