Key Developments

Mauritius Telecom Plans New Subsea Cable to Boost Africa-Asia Connectivity

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Mauritius Telecom, the leading telecommunications provider in Mauritius, is spearheading the development of a new subsea cable project, dubbed T4.

This critical infrastructure will enhance internet connectivity between Africa, the Indian Ocean islands, and Asia.

Discussions are underway with potential partners, including Indian telecom giant Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. and French multinational Orange SA (Groupe Orange).

T4 is designed to replace the existing South Africa Far East (SAFE) cable upon its expiry in 2027.

The new cable boasts a significant upgrade, offering a staggering 1,000 times the capacity of its predecessor, according to Mauritius Telecom CEO Kapil Reesaul.

“Recent cable disruptions highlight the need for a more robust connection to the Far East,” Reesaul explained. “T4 will directly link Mauritius to India and Singapore, ensuring greater redundancy and improved internet stability.”

The project is motivated by a series of recent outages, with Mauritius experiencing a technical glitch on April 26th, adding to disruptions caused by damaged undersea cables near Ivory Coast (March 2024) and Yemen (since February 2024).

The new cable is expected to follow a similar route as the SAFE cable, stretching approximately 13,500 kilometers from South Africa to Singapore, with stops in Madagascar, La Reunion, and Mauritius.

This initiative builds upon Mauritius Telecom’s recent investments in network infrastructure. In 2023, the company invested $60 million in the T3 cable connecting Mauritius to South Africa.

Additionally, the island nation leverages the existing LION/LION2-EASSy-EIG cable for connections on the northern route.

Reesaul anticipates increased data traffic flowing through India and Singapore in the future, potentially exceeding the capacity of existing backup systems. T4 aims to mitigate this risk and ensure continued reliable connectivity.

Talks are ongoing with potential partners for the T4 consortium, including Telkom SA, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, Cable & Wireless Ltd. of the Seychelles, and China Telecom Corp.

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