The West Africa Cable System (WACS) is a 14530km submarine cable system connecting 15 countries, starting from South Africa and ending in London.
The WACS consists of four fibre pairs. It was initially designed with 128 wavelengths per fiber pair, running at 10 Gbps per wavelength, and initial design capacity of 5.12 Tbps. The initial investment of WACS is about US$650million.
WACS Initial Configuration:
WACS system delivers a round trip delay (RTD) of 138.5 ms between Yzerfontein CLS in South Africa to Highbridge CLS in the UK.
The Yzerfontein CLS in Western Cape Town serves an alternative international submarine gateway othar than the Melkbosstrand CLS in Western Cape Town, South Africa. Telkom South Africa is the landing party and owner of the Yzerfontein CLS.
The WACS landing Parties are: Telkom (South Africa), Telecom Namibia (Namibia), Angola cables (Angola), OCPT (Democratic Republic of Congo), Congo Telecom (Congo), Camtel (Cameroon, acquired from MTN Cameroon), MTN (Nigeria), Togo Telecom (Togo), MTN (Ghana), MTN (Ivory Coast), PTC (Cape Verde), Vodacom Group (Canary Islands), Tata Communications (Portugal), Tata Communications (UK), Cable and Wireless (London PoP).
WACS was supplied by ASN, and completed in 2012. The total cost of WACS is approximately US$650 million. It is reported that MTN owns 11% of the initial capacity of the WACS with an investment of US$90 million. Telecom Namibia`s initial investment in WACS amounts to some US$75 million, which has been co-invested with BoFiNet (Botswana) on a 50/50 basis.
In May 2015, Huawei Marine completed an upgrade of WACS (Upgrade I) using 100Gbps technology, increasing the WACS system design capacity to 14.5Tbit/s.
In Feb 2019, the WACS Upgrade II was completed with Huawei Marine's solutions to support 32*100Gbps from South Africa to Portugal.