SACS: the cable of the future that will revolutionise African telecommunications

The project, realised by Angola Cables, a consortium of companies led by Angola Teleco, should be completed by the end of 2016. Connecting Africa and South America will cut the cost of data transmission by 80%.

The new Atlantic cable

The complex network of submarine cables that cross oceans and seas around the world is a key infrastructure for today’s connectivity system. In fact, almost all global Internet traffic travels on these digital “motorways”; and the network is constantly expanding. Not surprisingly, the SACS project (South Atlantic Cable System), the cable that will link Africa and South America, passing under the Atlantic Ocean, will be discussed at Capacity Africa, one of the Capacity Conferences being held on the African continent (Tanzania- Dar ar Saalam, 8th and 9th September 2015). The event will be attended by Artur Mendes, COO of Angola Cables, who will be in charge of the structure in question. The debate will be part of a larger panel dedicated to possible future development paths for telecommunications in Africa, analysing both the increasing need to connect the continent with the rest of the world and the need to build a tighter internal network that involves all the African nations.


A strategic intersection

The figures for the SACS cable are much lower compared to other similar structures: a little over 6,000 km long, two “docking” stations (Luanda, in Angola, and Fortaleza, in Brazil) and a total cost of approximately $280 million. Once completed, however, it will be a truly strategic intersection, which according to estimates should cut the cost of data transmission between Africa and Asia and South America by as much as 80%. The infrastructure will absorb all the data traffic that is currently forced to travel via Europe and the United States in order to pass from coast to coast of the South Atlantic. Moreover, the SACS cable will connect with SEA-3/WASC  in Angola (already operational), and with Seabras-1 in Brazil (to be built).

The construction work, which should be completed by the end of 2016, has been entrusted to Angola Cables, a consortium of companies led by Angola Telecom and which involves four other telecommunications companies in the country (Unitel, MSTelcom, Movicel, Startel).