The recent landing of the West Africa Cable System (WACS) in Namibia has provided the first direct connection for the country to the global submarine cable network.

MTN Business, a subsidiary of the MTN Group and a major investor in WACS, looks forward to the completion of the cable which will result in the acceleration of affordable broadband capacity.
Manfred Engling, GM of MTN Business Namibia, says: “The acceleration of affordable broadband capacity and the convergence of information and communication technologies is starting to take root in the Namibian business arena and is rapidly signalling new ways of conducting business. With this historic landing, the playing field has been levelled with the rest of the world, and we hope to see some of the future ‘next big’ applications come out the local Namibian ICT community.”
The landing of WACS in Namibia is a massive milestone towards broadband cost cutting becoming a reality and a key enabler to critical telecoms industry development.
“While it may seem obvious that corporate Namibia wants affordable, reliable services that provide a competitive edge, the only way this will become a reality is when the associated cost savings of bandwidth usage are redistributed into enabling organisations to take advantage of emerging trends such as software-as-a-service, cloud computing and virtualisation – and the time is now," Engling says.
Following a long design, build and laying process and supplier-owner collaborative tests, MTN Business is confident that as it begins to migrate customers over to the cable later in 2011, it will be able to provide a truly reliable, redundant service, one that is hosted and managed by MTN and not outsourced or co-managed through any alternate service provider.
Johnny Aucamp, GM: strategic relations & business development Africa at MTN Business, comments: “MTN Business has invested over $130 million in alternative undersea cables as part of its vision to ensure that by 2011 operations across the African continent and Middle East escape the stranglehold of procuring unreliable and often expensive international bandwidth.”
Not only is the commoditisation of access inevitable, but the growing demand for convergence, network services and cloud computing means local businesses will require more and more bandwidth. It will also lead to businesses growth strategies for across the continent. “This will require ISPs to focus their attention on the broader business offering which will fundamentally require a different way of thinking – one that takes into account the continuous changes and demands that are set for this market,” Aucamp says.