Brazil-Africa fiber cable project makes progress

The implementation of the undersea link has just completed one of its most critical milestones

A fiber optic undersea link connecting Angola's capital Luanda to the Brazilian city of Fortaleza is reported to be about 50 percent complete, with operations set to begin later this year.

With more than 6,200 kilometers in length, SACS (South Atlantic Cable System) system will be the first fiber optic cable to connect Africa to the Americas via the South Atlantic sea.

According to Angola Cables, the company leading the SACS project, the survey stage of the project has been completed last week.

One of the most critical stages of the project, the survey phase lasted nearly two months and sought to map the route and the undersea area where the cable will be installed.

"This is one of the most important phases because the information resulting from this study will allow the supplier [Japanese technology firm NEC] to finish manufacturing the cable with the most appropriate coating, according to the characteristics of the terrain," Clementino Fernando, a technician at Angola Cables, told Brazilian website Convergência Digital.

The information is also crucial to inform the choice of signal repeaters of the cable, as well as in the definition of the power of each of them, Fernando added.

In addition to the SACS cable, Angola Cables is also involved in two other major initiatives in Brazil, including the rollout of Monet, a submarine link that will connect the Brazilian cities of Santos and Fortaleza to Miami, which has other backers including Google and local firm Algar Telecom.

Back in March 2012, the initial agreement was signed between Brazilian state-owned telecommunications firm Telebrás and Angola Cables formalized the interest of both companies to work together to launch the fiber optic structure.

The SACS project should have been ready in time for the World Cup, but two years later, Telebrás stated that the government's priority was the construction of a submarine cable linking Brazil to Europe, causing delays in the project.

The Brazil-Europe cable is currently being built under a joint venture led by Telebrás and Spain's IslaLink Submarine Cables.