Friday, March 19, 2010

Seacom signs broadband link deal with Ethiopia's ETC

Submarine fibre optic cable system operator Seacom has been awarded an agreement to supply Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) with international broadband fibre connectivity through a backhaul link through Djibouti.

Ethiopia's government was rolling out a $1,5-billion national initiative to improve the country's telecommunications infrastructure. Among other projects relating to landline and mobile telecommunications services, the national fibre optic network was set to be expanded significantly to allow the implementation of its ambitious ICT vision.

"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 center for Africa and as a regional transit point for other service providers," said ETC CEO Amare Amsalu.

"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," said Seacom CEO Brian Herlihy.

Seacom is a 17 000-km submarine fibre optic cable enabling eastern and southern African countries to connect to the rest of the world through 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 the cable's arrival already showing across the region. Kenya has seen bandwidth supply grow by 700% while Mozambique and Tanzania experienced increases of 850% and 1 000% respectively.

Seacom said that 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 high speed. Seacom's 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.

From Engineering News

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