Bharti Aritel bets on EASSy to win East Africa
By Fredrick Obura
In a move that is likely to boost connectivity of the East African region with the rest of the world, Bharti Airtel together with a global telecoms provider has announced the launch of the EASSy cable system.
Mr Ajay Chitkara, chief executive of Global Data Business, Bharti Airtel said the cable system is expected to prove a boon in proliferation of broadband connectivity to all parts of Africa.
"This development is a prerequisite for the successful production of e-commerce, Internet, and other broadband applications in the continent," Chitkara said.
"Our investment of $500 million over the last two years is designed to create a global network that offers unmatched resilience and maximum diversity," he added.
The 10,000-kilometre EASSy cable has received investment of up to $263 million and has a capacity of 1.4 terabits per second, making it the largest submarine cable system in the continent.
Chitkara said the commencement of EASSy cable is a significant step in creating a robust undersea cable infrastructure for Internet users on the continent.
"The submarine cable will help safeguard and ensure all time connectivity of East African countries with the world," he said.
According to analysts, the entry of global players into such as Bharti Airtel into the submarine cable infrastructure means that EASSy would also act as a bridge for South-South cooperation.
Sammy Kirui, Chairman of the EASSy Cable Management Committee, said the link delivers an important direct route for efficient flow of information for trade, economic, social and other cooperation between Asia and Africa.
"The achievement of this economic expansion is that the initial objectives of EASSy go far beyond just the simple delivery of infrastructure," Kirui said.
The consortium comprises of 16 telecom operators including Bharti Airtel, British Telecom, Etisalat, Saudi Telecom, MTN International Group, Telkom South Africa, among others.
EASSy landing stations include Port Sudan, Djibouti, Mombasa, Dar-easalaam, Moroni in Comoros Islands, Toliary in Madagascar, Maputo in Mozambique and Mtuzini in South Africa.
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