Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Altech and Seacom announce strategic bandwidth alliance to facilitate cheaper, faster broadband in South Africa


This is something of interest to the tech-heads out there (and indeed any South African who uses the internet!) - JSE listed Allied Technologies Limited (Altech) and SEACOM, last week announced their strategic alliance for the mutual acquisition of bandwidth capacity on two cable systems.
To quote the Seacom website:

“This strategic alliance with SEACOM, and Altech’s investment in the construction of terrestrial networks needed to support SEACOM in bringing its capacity inland, allows us to play a leading role in radically changing the face of African connectivity.
Altech has through the alliance secured the East African region for the distribution of much needed bandwidth. We are delighted to be partnering with SEACOM in this historic venture, pioneering the unlocking of a region hungry for low-cost, high-speed broadband access. The alliance is yet another element perfectly suited to Altech’s overall convergence strategy,” said Altech Chief Executive Officer, Craig Venter.

Read the full article here.

SEACOM is a 1.28 terabits per second, 17 000km undersea fibre optic cable, which links South and East African countries to their European and Asian counterparts.

The cable was officially launched in July 2009 and if expectations are correct, it will be the first of many undersea cables to be completed in the next few years. Ultimately this will greatly facilitate low-cost bandwidth for South and East Africa.

Although public expectations are high, SEACOM will not be selling bandwidth directly to end-users.
Rather, they will provide the bandwidth to African retailers (e.g. Altech) who will in turn sell this capacity to end-users.

Now it's just a waiting game, to see how long it will be until end-users see the full benefits of the SEACOM project...
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