TELECOM Namibia and the Paratus Group announced that the Equiano (Google) submarine cable, which is expected to have a direct impact on connectivity and internet speed in the country, officially landed on Friday in Swakopmund.
This comes after Telecom and Paratus were selected to build the Cable Landing Station (CLS) for the Equiano subsea internet cable in Namibia. Paratus explained that the building of the CLS was completed in September last year and the internal fitting was completed in January. Paratus added that the Equiano is expected to be fully operational in the fourth quarter of this year.
According to Telecom’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Stanley Shanapinda, the cable is a major step towards the development of a national telecommunications infrastructure for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
The cable, he explained, incorporates new technology that enables about 20 times more network capacity than the current West Africa Cable System (WACS). He said that it will therefore become a critical element in meeting the country’s current and future international connectivity demands.
“The cable will ensure redundancy for Telecom Namibia and offers an alternative when other routes may be impaired. The volume of information moving around the world has grown exponentially, particularly due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and thus, the cable will further strengthen and enhance the backbone of modern communications in Namibia,” Shanapinda added.
Shanapinda also said that the Equiano is expected to indirectly create 21 000 jobs in the country between 2022 and 2025, driven by expansion of the digital economy and associated business sectors.
Citing a recent economic impact assessment that was conducted by Africa Practice and Genesis Analytics, Paratus also highlighted that the cable’s arrival in Namibia acts as a catalyst for considerable growth, job creation and sustainability. Besides this, Paratus said that the cable is also set to increase internet speed by over 2,5 times, while increasing internet penetration by 7,5% in the next three years.
“Namibia has higher internet connection levels at 40.5% compared with an average of 29% for sub-Saharan African countries, but has relied upon the West Africa Cable System for its international connectivity until now. The landing of the Equiano cable will significantly increase Namibia’s international bandwidth capacity as it is four times greater than WACS. This will not only ensure better stability of connectivity in the country, but also lower latency and higher speeds in global transmission of data,” the CEO of the Paratus Group, Barney Harmse, explained.