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Fibre connecting Africa to America is a game changer

Staff Writer's picture

This article was originally published on MyBroadband

Having an undersea cable system connecting Africa directly to the Americas is a game changer, Angola Cables CEO António Nunes has told MyBroadband.

The company launched a cable linking North and South America called MONET, along with the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) which connects Brazil to Angola. Several cables connect from Angola to South Africa.

These links help reduce the “digital distance” – latency – between South Africa and the Americas, Nunes said.

One of the first Internet service providers in South Africa to make use of the link is Cool Ideas, and tests showed a dramatic improvement in latency compared to traffic which flowed of the West Atlantic Cable System (WACS).

Nunes said that this reduction in latency is great for gamers in South Africa, who will now be able to play against gamers from North and South America.

“Latency will not be an issue for them anymore,” Nunes said.

Other users who will benefit from lower latency are people in the financial sector.

“Imagine you can make it so the stock exchange from Sao Paulo has the same latency as to the one in Singapore,” Nunes said. “It will make the finance guys very happy.”

The lower latency between Africa and the Americas is not the only significant shift promised by the South Atlantic cable.

According to Nunes, having cables running from South America to Africa, and then connecting to Asia is another big win.

Content distributors are one example of clients who benefit from this, as Brazil is one of the regions in the world which produces a lot of online content.

Data centres

Once Angola Cables’ data centre in Fortaleza is completed, providers won’t even have to leave Brazil to distribute content, Nunes said. They can just host the content in the data centre, and consumers will be able to access it via ISPs who use SACS.

Nunes said their data centre in Fortaleza is expected to be fully operational early next year.

Another big client for SACS are scientists, specifically those who operate radio telescopes which generate massive amounts of data.

“Japan is investing a lot of money in Chile for radio telescopes and SACS is the cheapest way for them to get the data they collect,” Nunes said.

He said they are trying to promote the benefits of moving data West to East, rather than just North to South. This will put South Africa in the middle of the game.

“There is big demand from India and Asia Pacific,” he said. “Economies in Asia Pacific are also booming at the moment.”

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