Sources of information on submarine systems

Keeping yourself up-to-date with the latest information on submarine systems and technology can be extremely time-consuming. Below I have listed my favourite reference sources… please get back to me with others that you recommend.


Mike Last, WIOCC



EASSy upgraded to 4.72Tbps

For anyone who missed the announcement, the design capacity of the EASSy system has been increased to 4.72Tbps. This is based on the latest 40Gbps wavelength technology from supplier Alcatel-Lucent, which enables 59 x 40Gbps to be configured on each of EASSy’s two fibre-pairs.

As a result, EASSy now represents more than 70 per cent of all the international fibre-optic inventory on Africa’s east coast (the international capacity of alternatives TEAMS and Seacom being 1.2 and 0.6Tbps respectively), and it still offers the only direct route between eastern Africa and Europe – via the African coastline, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

The EASSy Management Committee has also announced that EASSy’s operational capacity will be more than doubled at the end of this year, driven by faster-than-expected capacity uptake by shareholders and other domestic and international telcos and ISPs.

For more information, contact

WIOCC to be Gold Sponsors at Capacity Africa

With WIOCC’s EASSy system now live, WIOCC will be Gold Sponsors of Capacity Africa 2010, which will be taking place in Nairobi, Kenya on 21st – 22nd September 2010.

John Sihra, WIOCC’s Chairman will participate in a Keynote panel, “Bridging the Fibre Gap: Transforming Africa’s Infrastructure and Promoting Market Innovation” together with a CEO panel from Bharti Airtel,  Gateway Communications, Liquid Telecom and Telkom Kenya.

On Day 2, Chris Wood, WIOCC’s CEO will be on a second Keynote panel session, ” Sub-sea Perspective: Connecting Africa to the International Backbone – East Africa” together with representatives from Cable & Wireless Worldwide, Main One,  Seacom and Telecom Egypt.

We would love to see you at the event, whether or not we have met with you before. If you would like to arrange a meeting with anyone from the WIOCC team, or if you would like us to contact you, please email us at

WIOCC Revolutionises Global Communication with Eastern & Southern Africa

International Press Release: Just seven months after commencing cable installation and following a comprehensive programme of testing, WIOCC is proud to announce the opening of a 1.4 Terabit per second, 10,000 km fibre-optic submarine cable system along the east coast of Africa – from South Africa to Sudan, and with onward connection to global markets.

Completed on time and on budget, WIOCC’s EASSy (East African Submarine System) cable now enables the affordable, reliable delivery of faster internet access for African users and enhanced voice and data services for the international marketplace.

The only East African system with built-in, end-to-end resilience, EASSy will revolutionise global connectivity to and from 21 countries in eastern and southern Africa. The nine landing countries for the cable are: South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, the Comores, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and Sudan.

WIOCC’s fibre-optic submarine cable and ‘collapsed ring’ structure, which provides protection against branch cuts and equipment failure, will for the first time enable telecommunications carriers in the world’s commercial and financial centres to provide customers with reliable, low-cost, high-speed telecoms services to and from this region of Africa.

Business model transformed

Previous business models were typically based on long-term, high capital expenditure contracts. However, WIOCC offers carriers uniquely flexible and scaleable capacity and contract duration options – starting from as short as one month and as little as 2Mbps of capacity, with the ability to scale up to 10Gbps and migrate to system lifetime contracts if they desire.

WIOCC CEO Chris Wood commented: “Not only does our cable system provide the lowest latency internet connections and best ever voice and data service reliability to this region of Africa, but our unique approach to contract capacity and duration also provides businesses with the crucial flexibility they desire.

EASSy opens up important growth opportunities for domestic businesses and creates exciting potential for international organisations to expand within the region. Business process outsourcing into Africa is set to expand on the back of enhanced communications, with businesses offering back-office functions and call centre-type services expected to be in the vanguard of the growth. Similarly, the improved connection reliability and data transfer speeds will help the African offices of international organisations participate more fully in data transfer-based business activity.

Outage ‘insurance’ costs to plummet

The launch of EASSy, with its increased capacity and reliability, will dramatically reduce the cost to businesses of purchasing spare capacity options on other cable and satellite networks, to cover themselves against the potential impact of any international network outage.

One Stop Shop

WIOCC offers ISPs and telcos an end-to-end contract that covers all elements of the connectivity ‘journey’ – including network backhaul into landlocked countries and network support. This one stop shop facility means organisations can elect to sign a single contract covering the end to end transfer of voice and data along their chosen route, thus eliminating the financial and time overhead of having to negotiate with multiple providers for service provisioning, fault management and billing.


Africa-wide Press Release: The WIOCC-EASSy fibre optic cable  went live on Friday July 16th, marking  the final completion of a very successful construction program which started  in Maputo, Mozambique in December 2009.

The going live of the WIOCC- EASSy  cable marks the launch of the largest cable system serving sub-Saharan Africa. The cable, which has gone live in all the EASSy countries, connects Africa to the rest of the world.

All the EASSy landing stations have been completed, tested and are fully operational. These are Port Sudan, Djibouti, Mombasa, Daresalaam, Moroni in Comoros Islands, Toliary in Madagascar, Maputo in Mozambique and Mtuzini in South Africa.

The WIOCC-EASSy cable has the capability to deliver a massive 1.4Tbs of capacity making it the largest submarine cable system serving the African Continent. The cable is in 9 African countries, and will offer transit connectivity through  backhaul networks to at least 12 landlocked countries, providing the greatest geographic coverage of any system in the region.

The CEO of WIOCC, Chris Wood said “EASSy will be the first east coast system to connect on a direct route to Europe, making it the lowest latency system for traffic to key internet peering points in Europe and North America.  Whereas, other recently launched systems use a longer path to reach Europe, via connections in either India or UAE.”

EASSy will add to the diversity of cable systems and increase competition for sub-sea connectivity in the region and bring much needed resilience to the networks of the region’s telecoms operators.

WIOCC-EASSy offers African service providers a competitive edge, international carriers unmatched coverage, and businesses and consumers in the region an improved online experience, at lower cost and delivering high-quality access to global information and international markets.

The WIOCC- EASSy cable will be formally handed over to the WIOCC Board by Alcatel Submarine Networks, who were the sub-contractors,  this week in Nairobi during the WIOCC board meeting that will be held on Wednesday 21st July.

For further information, please send you enquiry to; or visit our website at


Poll#2: How are current outages on the region’s submarine cables affecting your telecoms plans for the next 12 months?

Many businesses in east and southern Africa are suffering intermittent or very poor internet connectivity right now, caused by the outages affecting the main European backhaul link used by cables serving the region. Other firms report only minor inconvenience…

So how are these outages affecting your telecoms priorities for 2010? Take the poll then compare your results…

WIOCC-EASSy enquiries growing fast

Here at WIOCC, with the launch of the system little more than a couple of months away, we are seeing a significant increase in enquiries about purchasing capacity on EASSy.

This is particularly pertinent given the internet issues currently being experienced by users of capacity on Seacom and TEAMS, both of which depend on the same single cable for onward connectivity from their terminations – in Mumbai, India and Fujairah, UAE respectively.

With the current outage threatening to run for 5 days or more,  many service providers and ISPs throughout eastern and southern Africa are coming under pressure from subscribers to justify this extended period of poor or non-existent international internet connectivity or risk losing them. 

To defend and grow customer bases, ISPs will increasingly need to develop more robust service offerings – made possible by increasing the diversity of both national and international connectivity.

WIOCC’s EASSy cable is different. It delivers an alternate, diverse route out of east Africa, but it is so much more than than…

WIOCC’s management team has a combined 40 years of experience in submarine fibre networks – experience that has been applied to the planning and design of a network to avoid such outages, with resilience and reliability in mind right from the start. EASSy offers better levels of resilience through:
  1. being the only system in the region based on a “collapsed ring” design end-to-end which provides a high degree of robustness, high reliability and low outage time. This advanced network topology allows internal restoration routing – basically, it enables traffic to be rerouted between landing stations in the event of a failure, thereby minimising the impact of cable cuts and many of the more common equipment faults.
  2. owning terrestrial backhaul networks that reach out to 21 countries throughout the eastern half of Africa, providing alternative routes between landing stations and so offering another path for customers’ traffic in the event of a network failure.
  3. setting up connectivity agreements with a variety of global service providers, ensuring further protection for international traffic, particularly in areas where cable cuts are common. In the high-risk areas of the Red Sea and Mediterranean, for example, we will use diverse paths on the EIG and Sea-Me-We 3 cable systems to minimise the risk of cable damage affecting our customers.
The EIG cable
The Sea-Me-We 3 system

EASSy also delivers the first direct route into Europe – from Africa straight through the Red Sea into the Mediterranean Sea – absolutely no detours via the Middle East or India… This promises the fastest possible response time for customers’ applications, and offers ISPs a way to differentiate themselves in a busy market.

If you don’t want to miss out, contact us on to set up a discussion with one of our team.