Gateway Communications, as part of its plan for bringing sub-sea connectivity inland across the Southern African Development Community (SADC), has added Botswana, with capacity from SAT-3 being brought into Gaborone securely via South Africa.
Customers in Botswana, a country which currently has an Internet penetration of about 6% (ITU, 2011), can now access high-speed, reliable connectivity. Recent research studies have concluded unequivocally that improved capacity will also positively impact the growth of the country’s main economic sectors including mining, tourism and agriculture.
In addition, more routes are being added to the terrestrial networks already created in Zambia and Malawi during the first phase of Gateway’s terrestrial network initiative. A new path, utilising both SAT-3 and SEACOM connectivity has been developed to provide Zambia with a fully redundant path through Zimbabwe.
The initiative continues, and during the next few months Gateway Communications will be extending its terrestrial network by deploying another link into Malawi through the eastern border town of Mulanji. All these new routes will ensure that spare back-up capacity is always available should any unforeseen outages occur, keeping Gateway’s customers constantly connected.
“During our recent industry panel discussion held in Johannesburg, South Africa, it was clear that a huge challenge to pan-African connectivity is bringing capacity from sub-sea cables to landlocked countries,” comments Mike van den Bergh, CEO of Gateway Communications. “Through this innovative project, we will make sure that the benefits of high speed services are available to everyone using our pan-African network. This brings us closer to our goal of ensuring that every country in Africa has access to cost-effective and reliable capacity.”
The next step in the project is to bring additional capacity to Mauritius by connecting the island via SAFE to a neutral data centre facility in South Africa and then onward to Europe via Eassy and SAT3. This will connect Mauritius into Africa and will allow them to connect internationally using Gateway’s pan-African MPLS Network and international peering stations in London, UK. With the development of Mauritius to a middle-income diverse economy, it is crucial that the connectivity provided to the country is one that will be able to sustain its economic drive and established tourism activities.