The West African Cable System (WACS) will be officially launched on 11 May 2012, its management have announced. The Africa-Europe undersea system will be the first direct connection to international submarine cable networks for Namibia, Togo, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The new fibre-optic route will also link South Africa, Angola, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Cape Verde, Canary Islands, Portugal and the UK with a design capacity of 5.12Tbps. Other countries are able to access bandwidth on the system, including landlocked Botswana, which partnered Namibia in each raising USD37.5 million to invest in a 9.2% stake in the cable consortium. Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) will co-locate services within the landing station operated by Telecom Namibia, under the WACS open access policy. Other stakeholders in the USD650 million high speed cable project include Angola Cable, Broadband Infraco, Cable and Wireless Worldwide, Cabo Verde Telecom, Congo Telecom (formerly Sotelco), MTN Group, Portugal Telecom, Societe Congolaise des Postes et Telecommunications (SCPT), Tata Communications, Telkom South Africa, Togo Telecom, Vodacom Group and Vodafone Spain.
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