Mark Simpson, CEO of SEACOM, has indicated that the privately funded, 75% African-owned submarine cable system company is working towards ‘closing the ring’ around South Africa by building what it is tentatively calling the South African Marine System (SAMS) cable that will link Yzerfontein in the Western Cape with Mtunzini in KwaZulu-Natal, via Port Elizabeth and East London. Simpson believes that subsea cables offer higher performance and lower cost than terrestrial ones, and hopes that the link will provide redundancy into the Eastern Cape while also offering protection for the Johannesburg to Cape Town routes.
Speaking at the Satcom conference in Sandton, South Africa, Simpson told TechCentral: ‘It is about offering resilience and reliability and closing the African ring from east to west. The bottleneck has moved inland. There is no longer a shortage of capacity on cable systems. International supply is abundant and relatively low cost at the beach. The cost, availability and reliability of terrestrial distribution is holding back the benefits that could accrue’.