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Rwanda, Burundi to wait 3 months for Seacom cable link

Discussion in 'Tech, Gadgets & Science Forum' started by Invisible, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. Invisible

    Invisible Admin Staff Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Joined: Feb 11, 2006
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    Connection to the fibre optic cable will lead to a considerable reduction in Internet consumer prices.


    Rwanda and Burundi will have to wait another three months to be connected to the recently launched Seacom fibre-optic undersea cable.

    In the meantime, the country will be connected to Kampala by micro-wave technology — beginning this week.

    Government officials confirmed that Seacom representatives where in Kigali last week to meet President Paul Kagame for a possible investment deal with Kigali.

    And a few weeks ago, President Kagame told the Press during his monthly briefing that Rwanda was interested in tapping the high capacity bandwidth.

    He said the government had sent a team to Nairobi to negotiate a possible ownership stake in Seacom’s privately owned infrastructure.

    Seacom is a 1.28 Tbps capacity undersea cable linking South and East Africa to Europe and Asia via the Red Sea, Egypt and the Mediterranean.

    The cable is delivering open access to capacity and landing infrastructure, which is expected to drive down international backbone prices by 90 per cent.

    “Not only are we interested in having the cable coming to Rwanda, but we also want to be a part of the broader investment. To my knowledge, we stand to be connected through the Katuna border. Once Uganda is on, if any cable is connected to Tanzania, we should be connected as well,” he said.

    Rwanda’s State Minister for Energy, Albert Butare, recently said that discussions were going on over whether the Kenya government-led Teams (The East African Marine System) or the Seacom cable could take the responsibility of connecting Kigali from Kampala.

    “In Uganda, it happened very fast because there was a connection from Mombasa to Kampala. There is also a connection by MTN Uganda to some places in Mbarara.

    “And there is an understanding to connect through MTN Rwanda from Katuna. It doesn’t matter who uses it as long as there is an agreement,” Dr Butare said.

    Teams’ fibre optic cable, which is being laid by Alcatel-Lucent, will begin operation in the third quarter of 2009, with another open access policy and prices of $500-1,000 per MB per sec per month.

    Seacom is fully privately owned, with a 76.25 per cent African stake.

    The shareholders, according to the recently launched African Economic Outlook, include the Industrial Promotion Services, Venfin, Convergence Partners and Shanduka — all non telecommunications operators.

    Two weeks ago, the Seacom cable was launched simultaneously in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa. The owners said they would commission the final link to Kigali and Addis Ababa soon.

    However, officials of Kenya Data Network, who are business partners with the Kigali-based Altech Stream, said Kigali will be connected temporarily this week by micro-wave technology.

    This will be from Zain House in Kampala through 13 hops of about 1,200km, to the ICT park in Kigali.

    Currently, Rwanda depends heavily on VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) satellite connections. Once linked to the fibre cable, there will not be any need to connect through satellite.

    Experts say this will lead to a considerable reduction in Internet consumer prices, compared to VSAT costs. Connection costs are expected to drop by about 90 per cent.

    Peter Matayo, head of infrastructure at KDN, said the Altech Group, whose headquarters are in South Africa, will spend about Kshs 6 million ($75,000) to connect Kigali through micowave technology to the undersea cable.

    This will be through a point of presence in Kampala. About $8 million will be used to lay a fibre optic infrastructure in Kigali.

    “Thereafter, within the next three months, we shall connect from Kampala to Kigali through fibre optic cable.

    “The cable will be between 30 to 35 Mb per sec of bandwidth. These interim connections have a better performance speed than VSAT access,” Mr Matayo said.

    “It is up to the government to hook up with anyone who is interested. We can also connect those interested, but they can also go directly to Seacom for possible connection. We are just tapping the Seacom connection in Mombasa,” he added.

    Mr Matayo said Burundi will be connected soon after Rwanda.

    He said Altech will run a ring of fibre optics across the five East African Community nations. The micro-wave connection is expected to remain as back-up.

    Altech is represented by Infocom in Kampala, KDN in Nairobi and Altech Stream in Kigali.

    The group is planning to open the Africa Digital Networks in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, soon.


  2. Mbogela

    Mbogela JF-Expert Member

    Aug 19, 2009
    Joined: Jan 28, 2008
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    Hawa Wanyarwanda sio tu wamefikiria kufaidika na mtandao pekee wanafikiria kugawana hata hivyo VG Cent watakavyokuwa wanavikusanya kutokana na huduma hii. Vipi hapa Kwetu hii imekaaje? Tumefikiria kibiashara zaidi au kama kawaida kuleta wawekezaji wachume chao waondoke sisi tuhesabu service pekee kama faida?
  3. BrainPower

    BrainPower Senior Member

    Aug 19, 2009
    Joined: May 19, 2009
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    Touch down ! Bulls Eye !

    Not only do they want a piece of the cake but but they want to have a share of the BIGGER cake. !

    We should learn from this.

    Well said [​IMG]

  4. Kaa la Moto

    Kaa la Moto JF-Expert Member

    Aug 30, 2009
    Joined: Apr 24, 2008
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    Naona kama Tanzania wanafukuzia soko hili kwa kasi maana kuna wachina wanachimba mitaro na kutandika wire tokea Bukoba kwenda Kyaka na kutokea Bukoba kwenda njia ya Muleba kwenda Biharamulo.
    Kinachonishangaza ni kwamba wameajiri watu wanachimba kwa mikono. Sielewi watamaliza lini na sielewi Bukoba watapata connection tokea wapi?

    Mwenye data atutonye