R893m subsea cable for SA

Telecoms infrastructure provider Techteledata said that it is in discussions to build an undersea cable from Mtunzini to Cape Town, connecting East London and Port Elizabeth in the process.

Musa Phungula, Techteledata managing director and founder, told MyBroadband that the planned cable system will provide redundancy between the cable systems which land on South Africa’s East Coast (SEACOM, EASSy and SAFE) and the West Coast (WACS and SAT-3).

Other advantages of this cable system, explained Phungula, includes lower latency and lower maintenance costs when compared to terrestrial cable systems.

TDD cable
TDD cable landings

According to Techteledata they also have a technology partner lined up, but would not divulge the name at this stage.

The project is not limited to a submarine cable. Phungula explained that they are planning to build two 6,000 square meter data centres at Mtunzini and Yzerfontein.

The Techteledata MD said that these two data centres should make it more attractive for international companies to establish a point of presence in South Africa to serve their content to an African and international market.

Phungula said that many large telecoms players have already shown an interest in the new project, and are keen to purchase capacity on the cable system and in the data centres.

Musa said that Techteledata and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) as well as the IDC were in talks for funding for the project.

The Development Bank distanced itself from the news and told BusinessTech that it could not comment on confidential discussions between it and its clients.

The IDC said in a statement: “We are in discussions with Techteledata and have provided them with a letter of interest indicating a conditional funding commitment or an indication of appetite to fund based on off takes on the company meeting several conditions such as securing of an operating partner, securing of equity, IDC due diligence, credit committee approval etc.”

Techteledata is planning to launch this project in July 2013, after which companies will be able to purchase capacity on the planned cable and in the data centres.

The company said that the total project budget is $100 million (R893 million), adding that they welcome potential investors to join the project.

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R893m subsea cable for SA