Monday March 9, 2020
Internet speed and connectivity in the country is set for a major boost following the arrival of a 36-Terabyte undersea internet cable from Djibouti.
The new fibre optic cable, which is known as Djibouti Africa Regional Express 1 (DARE 1), is the biggest cable capacity, cementing Telkom Kenya data carrier position in the region.
The project has cost Sh8.6 billion and it will boost access to data in the region, with eventual gains being realized for the end consumer, said Telkom Kenya managing director of sarrier services George Kebaso.
Laying of the cable from Djibouti to Mombasa,a 5,000 kilometres stretch, took the engineers 45 days. It will be ready for market in June this year.
“DARE 1 not only brings an investment opportunity but unrivalled redundant international connection on newer technology as we seek to continuity for businesses,” said Kebaso.
Shipping and Maritime PS Nancy Karigithu who received the cable said it help in opening wider access of Kenya’s current network, as well as link Djibouti, Mogadishu, Mombasa and Bosaso.
“It will among other among many other things, help to augment the position of the port city of Mombasa as a regional hub on many fronts,” Karigithu said.
The cable was brought to life by a consortium consisting of Telkom Kenya, Somtel – a private Telecoms operator and Djibouti Telecom.
DARE 1 is the fifth submarine cable to land in Kenya. The first one was TEAMS (The East African Marine System), which landed in 2009.
Others are Eastern African Submarine Cable System (EASsy) and Lion2 that links Madagascar to Kenya.
Telkom Kenya owns a 23 per cent stake in TEAMs, a 5000km undersea fibre optic cable through Fujairah, UAE; a 10 per cent stake in LION2 another 2700km undersea fibre optic cable through Mauritius and a 2.6 per cent stake in the East African Submarine System Cable.
According to Kebaso the 5th 36TB cable provides additional transmission options in the country and greater East Africa region.
“This 5th cable will position Kenya as a data connectivity hub in Africa for international cables in ICT bandwidth market in improving business and will reduce cost of data,” he said.
Karigithu is confident improved connectivity will help key institutions such as Bandari Maritime Academy enhance its teaching modules.
“This increase in bandwidth will help BMA (Bandari Maritime Academy) in the training programs since there is need to undertake virtual classrooms for training seafarers to international standards,” she said.