NatCom Development & Investment Limited, trading as ntel, Nigeria’s largest and most advanced broadband LTE network has announced the successful repair and return to service of its SAT-3 submarine cable.
SAT-3/WASC/SAFE or South Atlantic 3/West Africa Submarine Cable is the longest submarine communications cable in the world with 17 landing points linking Portugal and Europe to South Africa, with connections to several West African countries along the route. It forms part of the SAT-3/WASC/SAFE cable system, where the SAFE cable links South Africa to Asia. The SAT-3/WASC/SAFE system provides a path between Europe and Asia for telecommunications traffic that is an alternative to the cable routes that pass through the Middle East. SAT-3 provides access to global markets and enables “seamless and diverse” connectivity to the rest of the world.
In a statement announcing the successful repair and return to service of the SAT-3 cable, Kamar Abass CEO of ntel said “the repair of SAT-3 is fantastic news for data-hungry consumers and corporates in need of superfast and abundant broadband carried over a robust fibre network with significant capacity and low latency. SAT-3’s 17 landing points and intermediate branches in-country and abroad provide for connections all the way to the Far East, thanks to our alliance with SAFE.”
Potential customers of SAT-3 include Nigeria’s GSM and LTE operators, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), major international companies, Private Telecom Operators, Content/Hosting Operators, Infomedics/Infomatics Operators, the judiciary (for the execution of real-time on-line matters), banks and the military as well as airline operators.
SAT-3’s repair also included the cable’s physical diversion away from shipping lanes in the approach to the Port of Lagos. In the past, the dropping (and dragging) of anchors by such traffic had been associated with disruptions to the cable. With the repaired system’s activation, the system’s Upgrade IV will also be implemented. This boosts its throughput capacity from 420Gbps to 920Gbps in the northern segments and from 340Gbps to 800Gbps in the southern segments.
SAT-3 Nigeria is now positioned to better address Nigeria’s need for super-fast internet connectivity, data-hungry applications, high-quality video-on-demand and increasing social media usage, thus enhancing customer experience. Today, submarine cable systems carry more than 98% of all overseas voice, data and video traffic.
The return of SAT-3 is significant in many respects. First launched in 2001, it was the precursor for Internet access between Europe and West Africa and it took off where SAT-2 left off as it reached full capacity. SAT-2 was brought into service in the early 1990s as a replacement for the original undersea cable SAT-1 that was constructed in the 1960s.
With Upgrade V now planned for delivery in Q4, 2016, SAT3 will surpass 1000 STM-1 mark in Q3 of 2016, thus providing even more capacity for the transformation of Nigeria’s broadband landscape.
Nigeria’s SAT-3 cable system connects to a Cable Landing Station in Central Lagos and, through a network of metro-fibre ducts, connects to multiple districts in Lagos and, through high-capacity inter-city connections, reaches multiple cities across Nigeria.
During 2016, ntel expects to connect hundreds of new customers to the SAT-3 system, including many who have successfully used the system in the recent past.