SEACOM to launch cable linking Europe tro Asia, Africa

Mauritius-registered private equity venture SEACOM said a fibre optic undersea cable linking east Africa to Europe and Asia would be launched in June 2009, in time for the 2010 soccer World Cup.

The company said in a statement it would start laying the multi-million-euro cable, which is needed to provide high-speed internet access and spur investment, in October this year.

The 15,000 km cable will wind around the east of the continent between South Africa and Egypt, then on to Mumbai in India and Marseille in France.
The group will start connecting sections of the cable in April 2009.

'The team is also trying to expedite the construction in an attempt to assist with the broadcasting requirements of the FIFA Confederations Cup scheduled for June 2009,' SEACOM said.

The cable will provide 1.28 terabits per second of broadband capacity to enable high definition TV and provide inexpensive bandwidth.

SEACOM said last year investors in the venture included an arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, Venfin and Herakles Telecom, each with a 25% stake, and Convergence Partners with a 12.5% shareholding.

The Shanduka Group, owned by South African black business tycoon Cyril Rhamaphosa, holds the remaining 12.5%.