IOX Cable is the exciting new cable project that promises to bring reliable and high-capacity communication link to connect Southern Africa with South Asia via Mauritius, where IOX is based.
Whilst terrestrial links do exist between the two continents, home to more than 2 billion people, it has been many years since the last subsea cable was laid down, and new infrastructural development is badly needed.
The solution comes in the shape of an 18,000 km 4 Fiber pair-designed cable that will offer a capacity of up to 54 Tbps, to ensure it delivers ultra-fast, uninterrupted connectivity. The IOX Cable System will integrate Alcatel Lucent Submarine Network’s latest innovations in subsea communications, including the 1620 OFT NODE and ROADM branching unit offering dynamic features for enhanced system resilience as well as utilizing ASN’s highly reliable submarine repeaters, all managed by its end-to-end submarine network management system.
The cable will connect East London (South Africa) with Rodrigues Island and Le Reunion (Mauritius) and Puducherry (India). Asked about the reasoning behind locating at these landing points, IOX told us East London was favoured since the South African Government is promoting the area as an industrial development zone. Currently, there is no existing submarine cable landing in East London. Most submarine cables land in Mtunzini and Cape Town. So an additional cable arriving into East London will provide a diverse path to reach all major data centers and landing stations in South Africa.
Rodrigues was chosen as a landing destination since at present the island has no submarine cable connectivity. Currently this small island, with a population of no more than 40,000, is solely reliant on internet access from satellite. However, due to the limited bandwidth offered, citizens are finding themselves having to log on at midnight or later due to the bulk of bandwidth being taken up by business activity during the day.
Lastly, Puducherry in India was identified as a strategic location due to the fact that this city is positioned at the end of a corridor of hi-tech businesses which have taken up residence between here and Chennai to the north. With plans now afoot now to convert Puducherry into a smart city, it makes a sensible landing location and offers diversity away from the bulk of cables which currently feed into Chennai. Installation of the new cable is anticipated to bring much needed impetus to expanding opportunities in the fields of Education, E-Commerce, Governance and Entrepreneurship.
The IOX cable is due for completion in April 2019 after which Phase of 2 project will come into play, where a second cable will northwards from Mauritius towards the Seychelles, Kenya and onwards towards Egypt and thence to Europe.
This article is part of a series of 15 interviews with leading cable project owners around the world, which we’ve compiled into the ebook “Submarine Networks Projects 2017”. Download a free copy of it here.
If you’d like to meet these cable owners and operators together with other leaders from the industry, you should join us at Submarine Networks World 2018, which takes place 24 – 26 September in Singapore. Firmly established as the must-attend annual meeting for industry players from all around the world, preparations are already underway for another year of inspiring ideas, extensive networking and lively debates, with a conference programme covering key industry issues ranging from New Demand Drivers to Marine Operations, as well as a brand new Innovation Zone featuring presentations on the latest R&D projects.
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