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TEAMs releases rollout timetable

MOMBASA, Kenya, Mar 31 – A timetable for the roll-out of The East African Marine Systems (TEAMs) cable has been released by contractors Alcatel Submarines Network Systems.

TEAMS board member Nzioka Waita said that many activities had been lined up for April including the completion of loading and commencement of the dropping of the cable, as well as a visit to Fujairah by the board members to inspect the equipment before the ship starts laying the cable in the sea.

“We expect a lot of movement to take place in the month of April,” said Mr Waita, who spoke in Mombasa after a TEAMs board of directors’ inspection of the terminal equipment in the landing station room.

Terminal equipment, which includes feeding, transmission and network monitoring facilities, is necessary to light the entire length of the cable and to provide a point of connection for the submarine cable to the terrestrial infrastructure in the country.

“We are fairly confident the equipment room is now ready to be handed over to the contractor to begin the installation of equipment for the landing station,” said Mr Waita.

The equipment is already in Kenya awaiting clearance, while the Alcatel Contractors who will do the installation are also in the country and waiting to be handed over the room.
“We just want to tell everyone interested in the TEAMs project that everything is on track and we are receiving a lot of co-operation from shareholders to make sure the project happens in time and within the budget,” he added.

The US$130 million TEAMs project shareholding ratio includes Safaricom, Telkom Kenya and the Government of Kenya all with 20 percent of the shares. Others include Kenya Data Network, Access Kenya, Econet Wireless and Africa Fibre Net of Uganda.

The Kenyan shareholders have pledged US$110 million (Sh8.6 billion) while the difference will be raised by Dubai Telecom Operator, Etisalat.

Mr Waita said that the project has all the requisite permits and approvals from the National Environment Management Agency (NEMA), which were received in November last year.

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Elsewhere, leading telecommunication network solution providers are set to present customised network services to overcome international connectivity challenges to deliver broadband communication services in the East Africa market.

Speaking ahead of a two-day East AfricaCom conference that starts in Nairobi on Wednesday, Ericsson Managing Director Thomas Sonesson, said that they expect the global trend of embracing high-speed mobile broadband services which help to bring the costs down, to be replicated in the East African region.

“With the costs down, internet and mobile phones usage will widen and this will have a tremendous impact on the future of the telecoms in the region,” he said.

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