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Africa to US Subsea Cable Coming Soon

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The first direct subsea fibre-optic cable system that will connect SA to Brazil, and eventually to the US, is set for commercial launch in 2020, according to Seaborn Networks COO Andy Bax.

The independent submarine cable company, which operates the most direct subsea system between Brazil’s Sao Paulo and New York in the US, last year announced plans to build a route that would be Africa’s first direct connection to the US.

Currently, subsea cable systems which have landed on SA’s shores don’t cater for direct international connectivity. Cable projects such as the West Africa Cable System link SA with the UK along the west coast of Africa. Seacom serves the east and west coasts of Africa, extending its reach into Europe and the Asia-Pacific via India, and the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System runs from Mtunzini in SA to Port Sudan in Sudan, connecting countries in East Africa to the rest of the world.

The subsea cable system that Seaborn Networks plans to build will provide the direct route between Northern Brazil to Cape Town, effectively connecting Cape Town and New York via Brazil, says Bax.

The Seaborn Networks COO explains the project is in its development phase, which means doing a lot of work around technical specifications, physical routing and identifying potential landing sites on each of the coasts, as well as talking to all the different parties that have shown an interest in being on the cable.

He says the new cable system between Northern Brazil and Cape Town will cost anything in the region of $120 million to $140 million. “We envisage that by the end of this year, we’ll be finished with all the development of the project with the view that we’d start doing the marine survey.

“When you take all these things into consideration, this process would take about 18 months. We would envisage that in the first half of 2020, the system will be available.”

Seaborn Networks already operates Seabras-1, which directly connects Sao Paulo in Brazil and New York in the US, and part of the cable includes branching units or optional drop-off points for the future and one of them is into Northern Brazil.

“The reason we put that there is so that we could build a cable from Northern Brazil to Cape Town, which would then effectively mean there was a direct route between Cape Town and New York via the optional line in Brazil,” notes Bax.

Fewer stops

The benefits of building this cable route, says Bax, is that it will enable a path between Cape Town and New York with just one stop, as opposed to the couple of dozen stops between Middle East, Europe and across the US.

“Today, everybody has to go up the coast either east or west, through the Middle East, through Europe, all the way into Northern Europe and then across the Atlantic to reach the US. This will provide the first direct route between Africa, starting in Cape Town, and the US.”

According to Bax, in the telecoms world, having a route with multiple stops means anything can go wrong and prevent traffic from passing through the undersea cables. This ranges from systems failure, people making mistakes, damaged cables as well as geo-political risks, whereas fewer stops mean fewer disruptions and lower expenses.

It also provides a much more secure route as it only stops in one place, he adds. “From a pure logistic perspective, the cable doesn’t go into Brazil, it only lands at the beach and comes straight back out again. It is just a straight transit through the country, so operationally it is much more efficient.

“Also, because the cable route is going across the Atlantic and straight up rather than through all the different countries, it is much shorter. From a latency perspective, we estimate it is about 30% faster than any of the current reach from Cape Town to New York.”

Providing service providers a different path that is shorter and safer is not only more cost-effective but will enhance the services they provide to consumers, he explains.

In building the new subsea fibre-optic cable system, Seaborn Networks is not looking to replace existing routes but rather supplement them, he continues. “Most of the cloud, content providers and carriers like to have two or three different routes to get between places, and this new cable system will provide them with a totally different path.”

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NCC to Sanction Illegal Auto Tracking Solutions Providers

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has warned against illegal operation by automated vehicular tracking (AVT) operators, saying it would invoke sanctions against anyone operating without licenses.

Emilia Nwokoro, Enugu Zonal Controller of the Commission, disclosed that it was illegal for people to operate vehicular tracking services without registering with the commission, stressing that registration would help regulate their services.

Speaking during the unsealing of the D-Tech Multi Services, she stated that the commission’s enforcement procedures empowered it to seal off AVT services operating without license, explaining that D-Tech Multi Services was sealed off on October 31, last, following the refusal of its managers to regularize their operations with the commission.

She explained that the aim of registering the operators was to enhance security of services and ensure that vehicle owners deal with genuine auto- trackers in the state and called on members of the public to furnish her office with information concerning illegal operators in the state.

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Africa Code Week frenzy hits Nigerian teachers, youths

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Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Mrs. Cecelia Ezeilo with teachers at the ACW teacher training in Enugu, recently.

Africa Code Week (ACW), a continent wide initiative of SAP, supported by partners such as Google, UNESCO, BMZ, Camden Trust, Cape Town Science Centre is set to run for 2 weeks from today the 15th to 26th October, in schools, communities and ICT centres across Nigeria.

 

It’s envisaged that hundreds of thousands of students will be trained on coding language during the 2-week period.

 

Training will be carried out in many States across the country as many teachers have been ramped up through a series of TTTs carried out by SAP and some of the ACW Network Partner Organizations (NPO).

 

Notably, in Edo and Enugu states where TTTs recently took place in August and September respectively, the events were organized by SAP and coordinated by ACW NPO Coderina.

 

The governments of these states have already thrown their full weight behind the program with a common goal of ensuring that all students in post primary education are introduced to coding during these 2 weeks.

The training session for teachers

 

They believe that success will be achieved through a combination of plans put in place by the government to leverage the newly acquired knowledge of the teachers and support from NPOs.

 

In Edo State, for instance, the government working through the Chairman of Edo State Post Primary Education Board (PPEB) Mr. Gabriel Oiboh and the Director of ICT agency Ms. Yuwa Napps,  have set aside 38 ICT centers in schools across the state to cater for students in schools where there’s lack of or shortage of computers.

 

The government ICT center with over 300 computers will also be used to train students in batches, with students transported to the center by government vehicles.

 

The approach is also similar in Enugu State where a team led by the SSA to the Governor on Development Aid, Dr. Kingsley Udeh and his ream, acting under the instructions of the Executive Governor, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, plan to reach every student in post primary education and ensure that no child is left behind.

 

The Governor in his address delivered on his behalf by the State’s Deputy Governor, Mrs. Cecelia Ezeilo at the ACW teacher training in Enugu, stated that youths are the engine of economic growth in the State hence digital literacy powers this engine.

 

“That is why my Administration has sought and attracted to the State this largest digital literacy initiative ever organized on the African continent”.

Some of the teachers who participated in the training

 

“Enugu State Government is committed to working with stakeholders towards achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth through digital literacy.

 

“This software coding training therefore comes as a welcome complement to the various ICT development initiates of the State Government.

 

“We will want to work with SAP and partners to infuse software coding into our school curriculum, in line with our ICT policy”, the State Government said.

 

According to the National Ambassador of Africa Code Week Olajide Ademola Ajayi at the TTT in Enugu, “It is highly anticipated that government interest in the program will help move the needle on Nigeria’s Digital Literacy drive.”

 

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MTN Shines, Bags Five Awards at NTITA 2018

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Tobe Okigbo, Corporate Relations Executive, MTN Nigeria, cluching the Awards

MTN Nigeria over the weekend emerged the biggest winner of the night at the 2nd edition of the Nigeria Tech Innovation & Telecom Awards (NTITA), 2018, held by the Instinct Wave and Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) at the Oriental Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos.

 

The ICT Company carted five (5) awards – Telecom Company of the year, Social Impact Award, Digital Transformation Award, Customer Experience Award and Telcom CEO of the year awards.

 

Tobechukwu Okigbo, Corporate Relations Executive, MTN Nigeria, who was one of the executives present for the company, received the awards and expressed the organization’s gratitude to the organizers and the independent judges.

 

“We are honored to not only receive these but to have been considered nominees in such lofty categories.

 

“MTN Nigeria has always and will continue to strive for excellence in all frontiers.

 

“Recognition for the work that thousands of us come together for every day is incentive to do more, create more and be more,” he stated.

 

Akin Naphtal, Group Chief Executive Officer, Instinct Wave, explained that the prestigious award has quickly become the benchmark for outstanding performance and a symbol of excellence in leadership in the highly competitive technology industry.

 

The award which is in its 2nd edition, has judges formed from an independent panel of industry experts recognizes organizational performances products and services, innovations, executives.

 

 

 

 

 

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