Huge Brazil-Africa Cable Planned

April 18th, 2011 by · 5 Comments

According to a report on African site TechCentral, there is a new transatlantic cable in the works.  But this time it's in the South Atlantic, connecting Fortaleza Brazil with Angola and South Africa, destinations that one doesn't normally think about undersea cable hooking up.  The project is being led by eFive Telecoms and will supposedly be built by a joint venture between Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU, news, filings) and the Chinese government.

Plans for the "South Atlantic Express" cable call for a huge 12.8Tbps maximum capacity, powered by 40Gbps waves over four fiber pairs.  Two pairs will land in South Africa, and two will land in Angola  The new cable will also provide the shortest route between South Africa and the US, for which the backers have signed a memorandum with GlobeNet.  Access to the east coast of Africa and on to southern Asia will be provided via SEACOM.

The planning is at an advanced stage although not yet complete, but the target date for commercial use would be June 2013.  Datawave out of the UK is supposed to present its findings on the business case later this month.  The governments of Brazil, South Africa, India, Russia, and China have all given their backing.  The non-US centric point of view plus that interesting list of backers will surely get some attention in Washington DC - though I'm not sure what will come of it.

Politics aside, the thought of bandwidth demand for 12.8Tbps of data between Brazil and southern Africa is staggering all by itself.  Somebody's thinking ahead - way, way ahead.  Unless it's all a bluff - but they named a whole lot of participating parties, so it seems likely they're serious.

Categories: Undersea cables

Join the Discussion!

5 Comments So Far


  • Jaime says:

    It will very interesting to see how good will perform a South Atlantic cable vs the usual North Atlantic cables.

  • Great news because this cable will reduce latency ( if the traffic goes trought US-EU and down
    By the way why they dont include this cable , extension for EUROPE in order to include R&D applications between Latam and Europe Universities and Centers R&D ? tks

  • mhammett says:

    Is this the one I pointed out to you or is that market really heating up?

  • Antonio says:

    Very interesting news and hopefully also this cable could capture some alternative traffics from ASIA and Europe by having brand new equipments in place it could be a very good alternative to the current Americas to EU and Americas to ASIA routing paths. I was told that the investment just in between Brazil and Africa would not justify the implementation, but thinking to add other traffic maybe the business case close.

  • Rob Powell says:

    My own take after some thought is that to understand the motivations we cannot ignore the involvement of the Chinese government as opposed to a commercial entity – even China Telecom or something. That suggests to me that the investment probably *isn’t* justified on economics alone, but that strategic needs for alternative routes they have greater influence over are the driving factor.

Leave a Comment

You may Log In to post a comment, or fill in the form to post anonymously.





  • Ramblings’ Jobs

    Post a Job - Just $99/30days
  • Event Calendar