Construction on MTN’s Coastal National Long Distance cable project has completed, connecting Durban to Cape Town and bringing coverage to areas along the N2.
This project – known as NLD5/6 – was started three years ago by Liquid Intelligent Technologies (known as Liquid Telecoms back then) with MTN as the anchor investor. The cable spans a massive 1 822km distance and moves through Gqeberha and East London.
“The project gives MTN an opportunity to provide additional and significant capacity between coastal cities and the rest of SA, ensuring the digital world is brought one step closer for many more people,” explains chief technology and information officer, Giovanni Chiarelli.
The exec adds that the cable will allow MTN to deploy fibre-related connectivity in previously disadvantaged rural and township communities.
“MTN believes everyone deserves to enjoy the benefits of the modern, connected world and we are therefore extremely pleased to have reached this important milestone to enhance connectivity and provide more digital opportunities. The long-distance project has been complex, but it is thanks to the ongoing dedication and expertise of our teams of technicians and engineers that we are now able to truly light up the digital highway for all of South Africa,” Chiarelli adds.
The high capacity transport network interconnects the east and west coast undersea cable systems, located In Mtunzini (EASSY), Dynefontein (ACE) and Yzerfontein (WACS). The network operator says that latency across established paths has improved by as much as 50 percent compared to previously provided links from third-party providers.
It’s important to point out that while fibre doesn’t seem like a mobile connectivity standard, it does allow for the deployment of high speed mobile broadband with fibre acting as the backbone of the network.
Hopefully, this means wider LTE coverage and perhaps even 5G when the spectrum becomes available.