There’s been much excitement over the recent news that the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) is ready for commercial service, but another important undersea cable connectivity project involving Africa is also about to make history.
In the past few days Alcatel Submarine Networks has announced the launch of its Ultramar subsea cabling system. It will connect the remote African islands of Sao Tome and Principe with Equatorial Guinea.
The two main islands of the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Príncipe are about 140 kilometres apart and more than 200 kilometres from the African coast. Sao Tome and Principe will be connected to Equatorial Guinea’s Annobon island – a move that will dramatically boost connectivity between the two nations.
The project is a collaboration with Equatorial Guinea’s Gestor de Infraestructura de Telecomunicaciones (GITGE).
While this is not on the scale of SACS, which will connect Angola and Brazil, directly linking the African continent to Latin America across the South Atlantic for the first time, it is still an important development. It will not only dramatically boost connectivity in Sao Tome and Principe but will also reduce the country’s dependence on satellite technology. It will also contribute to the digital inclusion of Annobon, a small province of Equatorial Guinea that is itself an island.