Six Submarine Cable Projects Not Watertight, Says BMI-T

Journalist Thabiso Mochiko reports that of the 10 submarine cables that were either planned or under construction in Africa, only four would be likely to work, BMI-TechKnowledge (BMI-T) said yesterday.

This was because 10 cables would create a significant capacity glut in some regions, despite the rapid growth in demand that could be expected, said Brian Neilson, the research director at BMI-T.

“This excess means that the business cases for some of the cables are not watertight and BMI-T expects some consolidation to take place among the cable projects,” said Neilson. “Some could even fall by the wayside.”

BMI-T said privately-owned submarine consortiums Seacom, Eassy and Teams, and the government-led Infraco were likely to succeed.

It said the submarine cables planned for southern and eastern Africa provided a total design capacity of 10 terabits a second. BMI-T forecasts that demand in the region would be less than 120 gigabytes a second by 2012.

This indicates that there could be enough capacity to be handled by fewer companies.

If all 10 cables were to be constructed, more than $6 billion (R47 billion) would be spent over the next three years.

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