Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Ultra-Broadband

Angola Cables Trials Cutting Edge Tech on Direct Subsea Link to US

Article Image
Angola Cables is leveraging its existing subsea cable assets and state-of-the-art optical technology from telecoms vendor Nokia to test a high-speed, direct data link between Africa and the US.

The move, which involves the development of a direct link between Angola and the US via the SACS (South Atlantic Cable System) cable, managed by Angola Cables, and the MONET submarine cable that is owned by a consortium of operators, is worth noting for two reasons. (See Angola Cables Trials Nokia's PSE-3, Angola Cables: Connecting the Americas and South Atlantic Cable System Is Completed.)

First, it's a meaningful effort to create a more direct and high-speed connection between the African continent and the US, home to many of the major data centers that fulfill data information requests over the global public Internet.

If Angola Cables can develop a stable and cost-effective high-speed, 300Gbit/s data traffic connection between Africa and a major US landing point -- in this case, between Luanda, Angola and Miami, Florida, via Brazil -- it can only help to boost the reliability and speed of data services for Africa's enterprise and residential users and help advance the continent's digital development.

The new link between Angola and the US via Brazil.
The new link between Angola and the US via Brazil.

Second, the project includes the trial of some cutting-edge optical technology in the form of Nokia's Photonic Service Engine 3 (PSE-3) chipset, which in this instance is at the heart of the technology equipment vendor's 1830 Photonic Service Interconnect (PSI) data center interconnect (DCI) system that is being used to provision wavelengths.

That component is cutting edge because it includes a modulation technique known as probabilistic constellation shaping (PCS), which automatically shapes signals (based on pre-defined policies) to best suit the characteristics of the installed fiber, resulting in optical wavelengths that have less interference and impairments and so enable significant increases in the potential capacity of the fiber. If used effectively, PCS can push the capacity of optical data transport connections close to their theoretical limit, so boosting the efficiency of a network. (See Nokia Pushes Optical to the Limit.)

Nokia has been pushing its PCS developments hard for a couple of years, having made a big splash with its PSE-3 chipset at the annual OFC conference in the US in March 2018. Since then, though, market traction hasn't lived up to expectations, with activity seemingly limited to field trials and tests with the likes of Etisalat in the UAE, Italy's TIM (Telecom Italia), and smaller European operators such as Germany's M-net and Poland's Netia.

The trial with Angola Cables is another useful PSE-3 reference for Nokia, but a full commercial deployment, rather than just another trial, wold be good for the vendor and also provide greater assurance and stability for the network operators looking to bed technology such as PCS into their networks for the long haul (excuse the corny optical networking joke).

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading for Connecting Africa.

Innovation hub

Story

SA startup launches Life.file, the 'Dropbox for death'

A female-founded South African startup and legal technology company has launched a service called Life.file which helps people create, store and share the legal information loved ones will need when they die.

Story

Hot startup of the month: Nigeria's Gradely

Nigerian AI-based ed-tech solution Gradely is an adaptive learning app that recommends video lessons, practice questions and on-demand tutors to help students master challenging subject areas.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives

Story

Research Bites: The impact of robotics on SA's automobile industry

By Bianca Ifeoma Chigbu and Fhulu Hastings Nekhwevha

This article, in collaboration with the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development, explores the collaborative work experience of robotics and human workers in the automobile industry in South Africa.

Story

Omdia View: June 2021

By Omdia Analysts

This month, Omdia's analysts provide context and analysis about Nigeria's Twitter ban, the privatization of Ethio Telecom and Vivendi's fiber plans in Burkina Faso.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

AfricaCom perspectives

Story

Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

Story

Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Story

How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival
November 8-12, 2021
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Flash poll

All polls

Upcoming webinars

Digital Skills Enhancing Human Capital

As nations begin to look beyond the crisis of COVID-19 to the new future of work, an opportunity to leverage this disruption as a powerful catalyst for positive change exists – one that could reshape the future and provide more accessible, fair, and impactful digital education and training.

In this webinar, we focus on how digital skills can enhance human capital and help realise the extraordinary potential of intelligent, 4IR-ready African workforces.

Key topics include:

  • Importance of having more than basic digital skills – upskilling & reskilling
  • Championing access to online educational resources – affordable and reliable internet, electricity and hardware
  • Future career options for industry specific roles: Cloud, AI, industrial IoT, big data analytics
  • Education 4.0: How updating educational curricula is key for growth
  • The importance of progressive, industry-driven educational policy frameworks

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up