Vox seals cable deal with Angola Cables

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Christopher Burrell, head of network at Vox Telecom.
Christopher Burrell, head of network at Vox Telecom.

South African integrated ICT and infrastructure provider Vox Telecom has partnered with Angola Cables, a relationship that will give it remote peering access to the undersea South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) that links Africa with the Americas.

Vox says with the new arrangement, it will be able to extend its reach and offer customers the ability to host multi-cloud services abroad – and pass on the benefits of the lower latencies via SACS.

The partnership comes at a time when the Internet peering ecosystem experiences a rapid paradigm shift as the model helps make peering accessible to a much larger population.

In recent years, remote peering has emerged as a way to get peering benefits but without the cost of additional equipment, transport, or co-location.

Organisations that stand to benefit from the Vox deal with Angola Cables include a number of enterprises looking to utilise technologies such as software-defined wide area networking, over-the-top and virtual private network service providers.

Vox says not only will businesses benefit but also individual users and avid gamers who frequently access international gaming platforms.

Angola Cables CEO António Nunes says: “SACS is a game-changer and offers our customers a connection to the world.”

He adds SACS presents a multitude of benefits for users on both sides of the Atlantic. Apart from the considerable reductions in latencies, the cable network has the capacity to cater for the huge rise in demand for data services, he notes.

“Given that SACS also has multiple onward connection options, companies and individuals can send, share or transmit data quickly and efficiently, something which has become a vital commodity in today’s digital economy.”

Angola Cables is a multinational telecommunications firm, which operates mostly in the wholesale fibre market.

It is involved in several major submarine cable projects, including the existing West Africa Cable System (linking South Africa to the UK) and the upcoming South Atlantic Cable System (Angola-Brazil) and MONET (US-Brazil).

Angola Cables also operates Angonix – the third largest Internet exchange in Africa – and runs two data centres, located in Fortaleza and Luanda.

Commenting the partnership, Christopher Burrell, head of network at Vox, says adding additional capacity through this fourth cable will significantly enhance Vox’s core network.

“Vox currently makes use of three cable systems to provide international connectivity between South Africa and London in the UK – the South Atlantic 3 (SAT3), West Africa Cable System and Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System.”

SACS is the first undersea cable connection to provide a direct link between Africa and South America. The 6 165km-long cable with a design capacity of 40Tbps connects Luanda, Angola with Fortaleza, Brazil and provides the lowest latency routing option between the two continents.

In SA, Angola Cables has points of presence in both Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Burrell says: “In addition, SACS offers connections to other cable systems such as WACS, and MONET, which links Brazil with the United States, helping to reduce latency between Africa and North America by up to 60% when compared to existing routing options via Europe. As an example, latency between Cape Town and New York drops from 236ms via existing connections to 190ms using SACS and MONET, while latency between Cape Town and São Paulo is reduced from 395ms to 140ms.”

Burrell says unlike the first three cables that allow for a range of data traffic to be carried between SA and the points of presence in London, the SACS arrangement will cater for selective peering options. The link will be used to transfer certain types of content initially and will extend their peering relationships over time.

“Based on demand, Vox will approach content delivery networks (CDNs) in Luanda, São Paulo and New York, to look at what can be delivered to South African consumers and businesses at a lower latency, and in doing so, shorten the distance between local users and content in international markets,” notes Burrell.

Vox already has peering arrangements in place with large CDNs and cloud providers through its existing Internet exchange relationships in SA.

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