According to Djibouti Telecom and Ecofin Agency, Kenya plans to invest $59 million to increase its data capabilities. This fund will be used to deploy an extension of the Djibouti Africa Regional Express (DARE1). Telkom Kenya has participated in the DARE1 consortium as Landing Party in Kenya.
The submarine survey required to determine the path of this cable has already been completed and the construction contract has been awarded. Currently, Djibouti has to set a scheme for the sharing of revenues generated by this cable.
According to Robert Mugo, director of shared services at the Kenya communications authority, these new investments show the government’s ambition to boost Kenya’s position as a regional IT center. It is also aimed at guaranteeing companies and individuals’ access to faster, secure and reliable internet connection.
According to Kenya’s digital master plan launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta during the 2019 Transform Africa Summit, revenues generated by the digital economy should reach $23,000 billion by 2025, thanks to investments 6.7 times higher than those in other sectors.
Kenya’s connection to the DARE1 cable system will be the fifth to a regional submarine fiber optics system. Kenya has already connected to the SEACOM, East African Marine System (TEAMS), Eastern African Submarine Cable System (EASsy) and Lion2 systems.
According to Djibouti Telecom, Telkom Kenya has participated in the DARE1 consortium as Landing Party in Kenya. Telkom Kenya also hosts and manages the cable landing stations in Mombasa for TEAMS, EASSy and LION2 submarine cable systems.
Telkom Kenya is the smallest in Kenya behind Safaricom and Bharti Airtel’s Kenyan unit, has been focusing on data to gain market share. It already distributes capacity from other subsea cables, using its extensive fibre network in Kenya. Telkom Kenya is 60% owned by London-based Helios Investment with the rest held by the government.
The DARE1 cable system will have four landing stations in Djibouti (Djibouti), Bosaso (Somalia), Mogadishu (Somalia) and Mombasa (Kenya), with a finalised cable length of 4,854 km. The DARE1 cable system includes three branch units off a three fiber-pair trunk, where each pair has a capacity of 40 channels at 300 Gbps, with a total system capacity of 36Tbps.
The estimated investment cost of the DARE1 cable system is US$86million, according to Djibouti Telecom.