SEACOM upgrades submarine network capacity to turbo-boost African Internet

SEACOM has selected Ciena Corporation’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform and OneControl Unified Management System for the upgrade of its submarine network.

March 11, 2013

The privately owned communications service provider SEACOM has selected Ciena Corporation’s (NASDAQ: CIEN) 6500 Packet-Optical Platform and OneControl Unified Management System for the upgrade of its submarine network across the Southern and Eastern African coastlines. This falls in line with SEACOM’s focus on driving the development of the African internet and opening the broadband tap for African consumers.

Ciena’s technology will allow SEACOM to meet the growing capacity demands of its customers and enable affordable Internet access to East Africa with a network that offers a better cost point and a smoother evolution path for the future.

The upgrade includes key countries in SEACOM’s 17,000km undersea network, including India, Egypt, Dijbouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa. The solution will allow SEACOM to deliver its capacity in very short timeframes and provide for future demands. The deployment will initially use Ciena’s 40G coherent transport technology, with ultra-long distance 100G wavelengths planned for future upgrades.

“Connectivity services in Africa are booming due to the growing needs of business IT users, the rise of ”cloud” based services, and growing requirements for the processing and storing of personal data,” says Claes Segelberg, chief technology officer at SEACOM. “Ciena’s technology will enable us to cost-effectively scale our capacity to address this growing demand for connectivity throughout the continent. The company’s future-proof network design has mitigated the risks associated with the upgrade project, ensuring a seamless transition for SEACOM’s carrier customers and end users.”

Adds Ed McCormack, vice president and general manager, submarine systems at Ciena: “In the last couple of years, bandwidth penetration in several African countries has increased tenfold with the support of SEACOM’s submarine network. Ciena’s coherent technology will enable SEACOM to evolve and grow its network cost-effectively. It will lay the foundations for a unified terrestrial and submarine network and evolution path to a GeoMesh network architecture. This project demonstrates a key aim of Ciena’s OPn network architecture vision: to bend the cost curve of networking in the face of new service requirements.”