Paratus and Telecom Namibia have signed an unprecedented agreement to land the subsea cable, Equiano, in Namibia. It will also, critically, provide Namibian networks and their customers with greater capacity, enabling more product options that can stimulate economic growth and support a competitive telecommunication sector.
Paratus and Telecom Namibia have made a significant investment in landing the Equiano cable in Namibia. Paratus Group CEO, Barney Harmse says, “This is a major milestone for Paratus. We are honoured to be co-investing with Telecom Namibia on the Equiano subsea cable project because this matches our goals of delivering unlimited connectivity and building Africa’s quality network with all the Internet capacity it needs.”
In 2019, Google first announced its subsea cable project, Equiano, would connect Africa with Europe, running along the west coast of Africa, between Portugal and South Africa. Google’s Equiano cable incorporates new technology that enables approximately 20 times more network capacity than the last cable built to serve this region and provides flexibility to add and reallocate capacity in different locations as needed.
Paratus, the landing party for the Namibia branch of Equiano, is a leading pan-African full-service network operator with operations in six SADC countries. Its extended network provides a satellite connectivity-focused service in 22 African countries and an additional 4000 satellite connections across the continent. The additional capacity offered by the Equiano cable, the largest on the African continent, further strengthens the Paratus SADC footprint and European network connection, as well as the operator’s long-term growth strategy.
Telecom Namibia CEO, Dr Stanley Shanapinda says: “This collaboration affirms that strategic partnerships between local network providers will greatly promote economic growth and digital transformation, while accelerating Namibia’s participation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We are very proud to be an investor in the Namibian branch.”
The co-operation between Paratus and Telecom Namibia reflects the spirit and objectives of the Communications Act, as envisioned by the Namibian government. Collaboration by local operators is proving that the benefits of cooperation are far-reaching not only for customers but also for the entire ICT market in Namibia and beyond.
The increased capacity from the Equiano cable will provide Namibia with the necessary redundancy as a connectivity backup, a requirement that became evident when WACS & SAT3 subsea cable outages were experienced by various operators recently and which resulted in significant Internet downtime and adverse effects for those businesses in Namibia and the SADC that did not have redundant connectivity solutions.
“This is important for Namibia”, adds Shanapinda. “It is part of our ongoing commitment to connecting the Namibian people with faster, more reliable Internet connections. We will experience, first-hand, the positive impact this increased capacity and redundancy will have on our country and our economy. We have numerous points of presence (PoPs) internationally and we will continue to enhance routing diversity between these PoPs to minimise loss of traffic in the event of a failure on any of the submarine cables. It is crucial to highlight that Telecom Namibia does not only carry local traffic, but we ensure Internet connectivity for various landlocked countries in the SADC region.
Harmse concluded: “There is a critical requirement to ensure that our network is strengthened with diverse routes across Africa to minimise the impact of any single upstream network dependency.”
The Namibian landing station is scheduled to be completed in the latter part of 2021, with the Equiano cable expected to land in the second half of 2022.
About Paratus Namibia
Based in Windhoek, Paratus Namibia is part of the Paratus Group, a pan-African network operator. Paratus offers the private and corporate sectors various access technologies such as fiber, microwave, fixed as well as mobile LTE. These are all provided on a stable, reliable, and unlimited network that is scalable and provides redundancy, disaster recovery and network diversity to ensure maximum uptime. Paratus Namibia also hosts its own Earth station, linked to the fiber backbone, allowing capacity to be distributed countrywide.
In delivering Africa’s quality network, Paratus Namibia thinks big and believes passionately in the potential of Africa. The company is investing in infrastructure and in delivering unlimited reliable and affordable connectivity which, in turn, will help unlock Africa’s potential.
Paratus is Africa’s quality network. With an eye on the future, the group is investing in infrastructure and establishing itself as a key player in delivering integrated network services across Africa. Paratus is managed by a passionate and professional operational team in six African countries – Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia – and the business’s extended network provides a satellite connectivity-focused service in 28 African countries and additionally, thousands of remote customer connections. This connects African businesses across the continent and delivers end-to-end service excellence. The group’s footprint extends beyond Africa to international (points of presence) PoPs in Europe and the US.
Born and bred in Africa, Paratus is thinking big as it grows its footprint to deliver Africa’s quality network. By understanding the unique opportunities that Africa offers business and individuals to break boundaries and to connect without limits, Paratus is committed to raising the bar for providing quality connectivity in Africa.
About Telecom Namibia
As a leading provider of broadband solutions and backbone infrastructure in the country, Telecom Namibia keeps individuals and businesses digitally connected using a variety of modern global communication technologies. Telecom Namibia Limited is incorporated under the Post and Telecommunications Act of 1992 and is a subsidiary of Namibia Post and Telecom Holdings Limited (NPTH).
With a transmission network that is 100% digital, the company provides a comprehensive portfolio of communication services and solutions in broadband, data and voice over fixed, fixed-wireless and mobile platforms.
Telecom Namibia is an investor in some of the world’s most sophisticated submarine cable systems such as SAT3, Seacom and WACS, thereby enhancing the reliability of Namibia’s connectivity to the global submarine cable network and access to international destinations for voice, data and Internet communication.
Telecom Namibia’s highly developed international network provides direct connections from Namibia to more than 240 destinations around the world. The company has over 13,000 km of fibre optic cable across the country, which is equipped with a total of 850 Gb/s capacity.
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