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WIOCC – Media update – January 2011

by david.nunes

WIOCC – Media update – January 2011


WIOCC’s sales ahead of initial forecasts

Capacity sales on EASSy (East African Submarine System) – the 10,000km, high-speed, high-capacity, fibre-optic cable connecting southern and eastern Africa to key international financial and commercial centres – have outstripped initial forecasts since the system went live in July 2010.


Chris Wood, CEO of WIOCC, the largest shareholder in the EASSy system, expects sales will continue to forge ahead in 2011 – with significant growth from the key international financial and commercial centres.


Capacity on EASSy to double

On 2nd December, WIOCC announced that EASSy will be upgraded in 2011, more than doubling the 30Gbps of capacity currently equipped on the system. This increase in lit capacity will be achieved by utilising the latest 40Gbps wavelength technology.


Bandwidth prices more than halved

The development and launch of EASSy has been instrumental in transforming the connectivity landscape in eastern and southern Africa, which has seen international bandwidth costs fall more than 50 per cent over the past 16 months.


Enhanced connectivity paves the way for ‘awakening’ of Africa

Within the next two years, new fibre-optic cables will be deployed around Africa that will provide at least 20Tbps of additional capacity. This will give the continent access to more than twice the data and voice-carrying capacity currently equipped between the US and Europe, and will be a catalyst for economic development of the world’s second largest and third most populous continent.


Home to an estimated one billion people, Africa remains a relatively untapped customer and business base in the global market. With a plentiful labour market possessing valuable technical and language skills, combined with low infrastructure costs, relatively cheap labour and improved stability across most of the continent, Africa offers a huge opportunity for many international businesses.


Historically, one of the major barriers to the full development of international business communications with Africa had been concerns about the reach and resilience of terrestrial connectivity, combined with a lack of diversity.


Even after the EASSy cable went live at the end of July 2010, many questioned whether land-locked African countries and rural communities could really benefit from this increased capacity.


However, recent research (Hamilton Research Ltd, July 2010) shows that these concerns are increasingly being addressed:

·         In July 2010 there were 585,471 km of terrestrial transmission network operational – a 26 per cent increase on the previous 12 months.

·         An additional 45,391 km of fibre was under construction – an investment of US$ 1.14 billion

  • A further 83,406 km of fibre was planned – an investment of US$ 1.96 billion
  • And 28,629 km of fibre have also been proposed – an investment of US$ 679 million

Mike Last, WIOCC’s Director of Marketing & International Business Development, comments:


“These figures show Africa will become a serious international player in the next few years. The time is now right for international organisations to exploit the business opportunities that had previously been hindered by unreliable and expensive international communications.”


“Now that international concerns over the deployment of a terrestrial transmission network within Africa are receding, growing international sales will be a major focus for WIOCC in 2011.”


International Awards and Recognition

1.       EASSy was the first submarine system to deliver direct connectivity between eastern Africa and Europe and in October was named Best Cable Project, at Submarine Networks World 2010 in Singapore. EASSy won the award as “the milestone project connecting new markets and contributing the most in spreading broadband in the region.”


2.      Chris Wood, CEO of WIOCC, was named in the Global Telecoms Business Power100Global Telecoms Business’s list of the 100 most powerful people in the telecoms industry.


New Senior Appointment

In November, experienced telecoms professional Mike Last was appointed Director of Marketing and International Business Development at WIOCC, where he will spearhead their push to grow international sales on the EASSy network in 2011.


Telecommunications carriers, internet service providers (ISPs), governments and other international high-capacity users will be targeted with WIOCC’s offer of affordable, reliable and seamless connectivity between the region and the world’s key commercial centres and internet exchanges.


Prior to joining WIOCC, Mike built up over 20 years’ experience in the telecoms industry – holding key marketing, business analysis, consultancy and development roles with a variety of companies including Turk Telekom, Flag Reliance, COLT and BT.



WIOCC is the largest shareholder in the 3.84 Tbps EASSy cable, enabling it to offer international telcos, ISPs and major corporates the most diverse, cost-effective and high-performance connectivity with the huge potential markets that exist in south and east Africa.


With landing points in every coastal country from South Africa to Sudan, as well as landings in Madagascar and Comores, WIOCC’s EASSy system delivers the most extensive reach on the East African coast. This connectivity is extended inland from the coast via WIOCC shareholders’ domestic fibre-optic networks and cross-border connections, with plans to serve 20+ countries from EASSy.


Through multiple interconnect points, WIOCC-EASSy also provides onward global connectivity with other fibre-optic systems and financial centres around the world.


For further information please contact Adrian Linden at:

E: adrian.linden@btopenworld.com or T: +44 (0)7919 967 865

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