Undersea Cable Delayed By Piracy Off E Coast Of Africa-Seacom
JOHANNESBURG -(Dow Jones)- A rise in piracy off the east coast of Africa has delayed by almost a month the launch of an undersea fiber optic cable that will link parts of the continent with Europe and India, Seacom said Wednesday.
The telecommunications link is now set to go into service July 23 rather than June 27 after an increase in the intensity and geographic coverage of pirates, the largely African-owned company said.
Seacom said the planned route required the ship laying the cable to enter an area where other ships had been attacked or seized. The cable has since been completed and splicing to connect a section of cable from Mumbai to Africa is expected shortly, it said.
Testing of the larger cable system will be finalized shortly thereafter.
A section of cable running from Mtunzini, South Africa, to Mombasa, Kenya, has already undergone successful testing, Seacom said.
When completed, the cable will provide broadband linking South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia.
Privately-funded Seacom is 26.25% owned by an arm of Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, 25% by Venfin Ltd., 12.5% by Convergence Partners and 12.5% by Shanduka Group. The remaining stake is held by Herakles Telecom LLC.