Paratus and Telecom Namibia Investment Lands Equiano Subsea Cable in Namibia

Paratus and Telecom Namibia have signed an unprecedented agreement to land the subsea cable, Equiano, in Namibia. It will also, critically, provide Namibian networks and their customers with greater capacity, enabling more product options that can stimulate economic growth and support a competitive telecommunication sector.

Paratus and Telecom Namibia have made a significant investment in landing the Equiano cable in Namibia. Paratus Group CEO, Barney Harmse says, “This is a major milestone for Paratus. We are honoured to be co-investing with Telecom Namibia on the Equiano subsea cable project because this matches our goals of delivering unlimited connectivity and building Africa’s quality network with all the Internet capacity it needs.”

In 2019, Google first announced its subsea cable project, Equiano, would connect Africa with Europe, running along the west coast of Africa, between Portugal and South Africa. Google’s Equiano cable incorporates new technology that enables approximately 20 times more network capacity than the last cable built to serve this region and provides flexibility to add and reallocate capacity in different locations as needed.

Paratus, the landing party for the Namibia branch of Equiano, is a leading pan-African full-service network operator with operations in six SADC countries. Its extended network provides a satellite connectivity-focused service in 22 African countries and an additional 4000 satellite connections across the continent. The additional capacity offered by the Equiano cable, the largest on the African continent, further strengthens the Paratus SADC footprint and European network connection, as well as the operator’s long-term growth strategy.

Telecom Namibia CEO, Dr Stanley Shanapinda says: “This collaboration affirms that strategic partnerships between local network providers will greatly promote economic growth and digital transformation, while accelerating Namibia’s participation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We are very proud to be an investor in the Namibian branch.”

The co-operation between Paratus and Telecom Namibia reflects the spirit and objectives of the Communications Act, as envisioned by the Namibian government. Collaboration by local operators is proving that the benefits of cooperation are far-reaching not only for customers but also for the entire ICT market in Namibia and beyond.

Telecom Namibia CEO, Dr Stanley Shanapinda and Paratus Group CEO Mr Barney Harmse.

The increased capacity from the Equiano cable will provide Namibia with the necessary redundancy as a connectivity backup, a requirement that became evident when WACS & SAT3 subsea cable outages were experienced by various operators recently and which resulted in significant Internet downtime and adverse effects for those businesses in Namibia and the SADC that did not have redundant connectivity solutions.

“This is important for Namibia”, adds Shanapinda. “It is part of our ongoing commitment to connecting the Namibian people with faster, more reliable Internet connections. We will experience, first-hand, the positive impact this increased capacity and redundancy will have on our country and our economy. We have numerous points of presence (PoPs) internationally and we will continue to enhance routing diversity between these PoPs to minimise loss of traffic in the event of a failure on any of the submarine cables. It is crucial to highlight that Telecom Namibia does not only carry local traffic, but we ensure Internet connectivity for various landlocked countries in the SADC region.

Harmse concluded: “There is a critical requirement to ensure that our network is strengthened with diverse routes across Africa to minimise the impact of any single upstream network dependency.”

The Namibian landing station is scheduled to be completed in the latter part of 2021, with the Equiano cable expected to land in the second half of 2022.