Djibouti Telecom, Somtel and TE SubCom have partnered to set up a submarine cable system that will link the East African coastline.
The 5,400 kilometre cable system dubbed the Djibouti Africa Regional Express 1(DARE1) will link Djibouti, Mogadishu, Mombasa and in due course other major coastal towns in the region and will deliver a capacity of up to 30 terabits per second.
TE SubCom who will be the main supplier is an industry pioneer in undersea communications technology and marine services, and a leading global supplier for today’s undersea communications requirements.
In a joint statement, the companies stated: “Future options for expansion of the cable include major coastal cities in the Somali territories and other countries in East Africa and the Horn of Africa, which will provide an alternative high-capacity and low-latency route.”
They said the partnership will realize the productivity and cost advantages of a short-haul cable route while still maintaining the capacity and reliability of a much larger long-haul system using SubCom’s scalable system design.
Interconnection among telecoms
The initiative will also open room for interconnection among telecommunication players in the Somali territories and the larger East Africa. Interconnection will offer consumers the freedom to communicate and exchange data across networks. This will in turn provide an environment where consumers will not be limited to one network and also room for competitive prices and quality of services.
The DARE1 consortium is currently composed of Djibouti Telecom and Somtel.
The DARE1 cable is configured as a three fiber pair trunk, with each fiber pair delivering a cross-sectional capacity of 150 channels at 100 Gbps. DARE1 will include diversified Points of Presence (PoP) with options for future connectivity via SubCom’s industry-leading optical reconfigurable add/drop multiplexing (ROADM) product line.
The cable will also connect to the global network via multiple cable systems in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
Djibouti Telecom SA is the primary telecommunications company of Djibouti, providing landline, mobile and Internet services while Somtel is the leading telecommunications company in the wider Somali territories providing landline, mobile and internet services. Somtel was the first operator to launch a 3G and LTE network in the Somali territories and has also transformed the financial system in the region through its Edahab system.
Abdirashid Duale, the Chief Executive Officer of Dahabshiil Group said the submarine cable will offer affordable Internet services and ease congestion across existing systems.
“DARE1 will be the first submarine cable of its kind to link Mogadishu to the global network. With the support of Dahabshiil Group, Somtel will bring affordable internet services with better performance to the region. Connectivity to the rest of the world is indispensable for developing the region, and the DARE1 system will ease congestion across existing systems, promoting competition and supplying much needed capacity to vital services, such as Mobile Money Services,” stated Duale.
He added: “Somtel’s customers will also experience Internet plans with greater reliability and higher speeds, as well as more choices at affordable prices.”
Duale said that Somtel and Dahabshiil Group are open to partnering with other interested players in the industry to further enhance our current services. “We are committed to continue working with our current partners in both cable and data, and our aim remains to provide quality and reliable services at affordable prices.”
Djibouti Telecom General Manager Mohamed Assoweh Bouh expressed confidence in the project saying it is bound to grow beyond East Africa.
“We are pleased to partner with Somtel and Dahabshiil Group to further develop the region. With high-capacity and low-latency, the DARE1 system will offer an alternative route to East Africa and the Horn of Africa. We are confident in SubCom’s superior technology and operational expertise and we look forward to expanding DARE1 into other regions,” said Assoweh Bouh.
SubCom was represented by its vice president Michael Rieger who said: “SubCom is pleased to be working with our DARE1 partners on this exciting project to bring significant bandwidth to the region,” said Michael Rieger, vice president, global sales, SubCom. “We continue to support our clients as they expand DARE1’s scope to realize its full service potential.”