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SEACOM trebles capacity

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The SEACOM undersea cable connecting South Africa and the east coast of Africa to the Internet is being upgraded to three-and-a-half times its original capacity.

The SEACOM undersea cable is being upgraded to a total capacity of 4,2 Terabits per second (Tb/s) from an original design capacity pf 1.2Tb/s.

The privately owned communications service provider SEACOM has selected Ciena Corporation’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform and OneControl Unified Management System for the upgrade of its submarine network across the Southern and Eastern African coastlines.

“This falls in line with SEACOM’s focus on driving the development of the African internet and opening the broadband tap for African consumers,”” according to a company statement.

Ciena’s technology will allow SEACOM to meet growing capacity demands and enable affordable Internet access with a network that offers a better cost point and a smoother evolution path for the future.

The upgrade includes key countries in SEACOM’s 17,000km undersea network, including India, Egypt, Dijbouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa. The solution will allow SEACOM to deliver its capacity in very short timeframes and provide for future demands. The deployment will initially use Ciena’s 40G coherent transport technology, with ultra-long distance 100G wavelengths planned for future upgrades.

‚””Connectivity services in Africa are booming due to the growing needs of business IT users, the rise of Cloud-based services, and growing requirements for the processing and storing of personal data,‚”” says Claes Segelberg, chief technology officer at SEACOM.

‚””Ciena’s technology will enable us to cost-effectively scale our capacity to address this growing demand for connectivity throughout the continent. The company’s future-proof network design has mitigated the risks associated with the upgrade project, ensuring a seamless transition for SEACOM’s carrier customers and end users.‚””

Ed McCormack, vice president and general manager, submarine systems at Ciena, adds: ‚””In the last couple of years, bandwidth penetration in several African countries has increased tenfold with the support of SEACOM’s submarine network. Ciena’s coherent technology will enable SEACOM to evolve and grow its network cost-effectively. It will lay the foundations for a unified terrestrial and submarine network and evolution path to a GeoMesh network architecture. This project demonstrates a key aim of Ciena’s OPn network architecture vision: to bend the cost curve of networking in the face of new service requirements.‚””

The current “”lit”” capacity of the SEACOm cable, i.e, capacity that has been switched on and is in use, is 120Gb/s. This will be increased to 240Gb/s after the upgrade.

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