The $600-million, 14000km West Africa Cable System linking southern and western African countries with Europe should be in service by 2011.
The cable, which will provide high capacity international bandwidth, will further reduce telecommunications costs on the continent, reports SouthAfrica.info.
A consortium of leading African and foreign telecoms operators signed a construction and maintenance agreement with manufacturer Alcatel-Lucent recently to construct the 8.84-terabit-per-second, fibre-optic submarine cable and its landing points.
Companies that signed the agreement include South Africa's Broadband Infraco, MTN, Tata Communications/Neotel, Telkom and Vodacom, as well as Angola Telecom, Cable & Wireless, Telecom Namibia, Portugal Telecom, Sotelco and Togo Telecom.
"The West Africa Cable System represents a significant telecommunications infrastructure investment through a joint effort of a number of African and global operators," Vodacom Group CEO Pieter Uys said.
The cable system would provide Africa with "faster and better connectivity to Europe and the rest of the world," Mr Uys said.
He said its ample capacity will serve the region's international connectivity needs for many years to come.
Planned landing points for the cable include South Africa, Namibia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Republic of Congo, Canary Islands, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Cape Verde, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
The landings in Namibia, the DRC, the Republic of Congo and Togo will provide these countries with their first connection to a global submarine cable network. - BuaNews