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Nokia, Angola Cables in deal to connect Africa, US

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 20 Jan 2020

Angola Cables is trialling Nokia’s Photonic Service Engine 3 (PSE-3) chipset for the first direct optical connection between the US and Africa.

In a statement, the companies say the route provides direct, low-latency trans-Atlantic routing and simplifies the turn-up of services to better serve rapidly growing data consumption markets in Africa.

Angola Cables is a multinational company operating in the global ICT marketplace, providing connectivity solutions for the wholesale and corporate segments.

Subsea fibre-optic cables form the backbone of the global Internet, connecting countries and continents across vast trans-oceanic distances.

The new services leverage the interconnection of two existing subsea cable systems – South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) and Monet.

SACS, owned and managed by Angola Cables, operates between Fortaleza, Brazil, and Luanda, Angola, and is connected to the AngoNAP data centre.

The consortium-owned Monet connects Santos/Fortaleza with Florida in the US.

Combining SACS and Monet subsea systems in this joint trial allows, for the first time, 300Gbps of traffic between Miami and Luanda, the companies say.

The test adds more capacity to an already low latency network, they add, pointing out lower-latency network connections improve performance and user experience in applications such as cloud computing and content consumption.

According to the International Telecommunication Union, Sub-Saharan Africa recorded the highest growth in Internet use globally over the past decade, from under 10% of the population in 2010, to over 28% in 2019.

Enhanced subsea connectivity is crucial for access to global content and services of this growing user base, say Nokia and Angola Cables.

The subsea wavelengths were deployed with Nokia's 1830 Photonic Service Interconnect (PSI) data centre interconnect (DCI) platform utilising the PSE-3.

The 1830 PSI provisioned optical wavelengths at 300Gbps using probabilistic constellation shaping (PCS) to optimally shape the signals to the specific characteristics of the 12 635km cable, achieve operation near the theoretical limits of the system.

Fernando Azevedo, technical director at Angola Cables, says: “With Nokia’s PSE-3, Angola Cables can optically interconnect the Monet and SACS submarine fibre-optic cables, enabling more capacity and a further reduction in latency between content providers in North America and the rapidly growing data consumption markets in Africa.”

Sam Bucci, head of optical networking at Nokia, says: “Africa is a strategic growth market for Nokia across both our core CSP and Web scale businesses. We are proud to partner with Angola Cables to apply our ground-breaking PSE-3 technology to a unique and challenging subsea route, helping to deliver enhanced services to a rapidly developing part of the world.”