, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 26 – Fibre optic company SEACOM, Uganda Telecom and Rwandatel S.A. have announced a major partnership that further extends the reach of international broadband capacity across eastern Africa.
Through concurrent deals, the two firms have purchased a significant amount of international broadband capacity from SEACOM which has in turn secured a backhaul solution for Rwanda on the two regional players’ terrestrial networks.
Under the terms of the partnership agreement, both entities which are subsidiaries of the Libyan Africa Portfolio (LAP) Green Network will have immediate access to the SEACOM network.
“From the outset of this project, we realised the importance of connecting inland countries to our international network and today’s agreement is testimony of our commitment in that regard,” said SEACOM Chief Executive Officer Brian Herlihy.
Whilst Uganda has been connected to the SEACOM network since its commercial launch on July 23, this agreement means that Rwanda will benefit from the newly available broadband capacity as soon as September 2009.
This development is in line with SEACOM’s objective to provide connectivity solutions to landlocked countries across the east and southern African region.
“Many countries set out to deploy massive terrestrial networks in anticipation of the arrival of real and affordable international bandwidth connectivity. With more and more countries getting connected to the rest of the world via our system, we are eagerly awaiting to see the direct socio-economic benefits this will have on the entire region,” added Mr Herlihy.
SEACOM, which is privately funded, is expected to provide African retail carriers with equal and open access to inexpensive bandwidth, removing the international infrastructure bottleneck and supporting east and southern African economic growth.
East Africa countries have been relying entirely on expensive satellite connections but with the arrival of three submarine fibre optic cables, it is expected that connectivity costs will be significantly lowered.