New Delhi, Aug 6 – The latest entrant into the Kenyan telecommunications scene, Bharti Airtel, plans to connect onto the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy).
Bharti has over the last two years made major investments in the EASSy cable. The $500 million (Sh40 billion) investment is aimed at making the operator a major data services player on the continent.
“The commencement of EASSy cable system is a significant step in our journey to create a robust undersea cable infrastructure for our customers,” Bharti Airtel Global Data Business CEO Ajay Chitkara said.
EASSy is the first East coast system to connect a direct route to Europe thereby helping to deliver data traffic faster to key internet peering points in Europe and North America.
This cable system is expected to prove a boon in proliferation of broadband connectivity to all parts of Africa, a prerequisite for the successful production of e-commerce, internet, and other broadband applications and projects on the continent.
Bharti took over mobile operations in 15 African nations when it completed the acquisition of the African assets of Kuwait\’s Zain for $10.7 billion.
Countries in which Bharti has acquired operations include Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon and Ghana.
Others are Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
“This will facilitate proliferation of ICT services thereby ensuring macro economic development of the region. Bharti Airtel is proud to be part of the consortium building this significant undersea cable system,” Mr Chitkara said.
Bharti Airtel’s investments in EASSy, is part of its plans to expand it global network through its ownership of the submarine cable system and consortium ownership in other global undersea cable.
EASSy landing stations include Port Sudan, Djibouti, Mombasa, Dar-easalaam, Moroni in Comoros Islands, Toliary in Madagaskar, Maputo in Mozambique and Mtuzini in South Africa