Mauritius Telecom to get new subsea cable to link Africa to Asia

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April 30, 2024
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2 min read
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The news: 

  • Mauritius Telecom, the Indian Ocean island country’s top telecom company, is getting a new subsea cable to link Africa, the Indian Ocean islands and Asia to enhance coverage in the regions. 
  • The Port Louis-based telecom company is reportedly in talks with several operators, including Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., an Indian telecom company, and Orange SA (Groupe Orange), a French multinational, for the new line. 
  • When completed, the new undersea cable named T4 will replace the South Africa Far East (SAFE) submarine cable that links Africa to Asia after it comes to the end of life in 2027 — 25 years after it was commissioned.

Per Kapil Reesaul, the Chief Executive Officer of Mauritius Telecom Ltd., T4 is expected to come with 1,000 times the capacity of the existing SAFE. 

In an interview on Monday, Reesaul stated that, given the company's recent cable breakdowns, securing the Far East with a line that will connect Mauritius in Africa to India and Singapore in Asia only made sense. 

The need for additional cable infrastructure became urgent after the island nation experienced a technical outage on Friday, April 26, 2024. 

Although resolved after only five hours, the disruption was the latest, following four damaged lines near the Ivory Coast in March 2024 and three cables off the coast of Yemen that have remained offline since February 2024.

Reports indicate that the new T4 line will follow a similar path as the 13,500-kilometre-long SAFE that starts from South Africa, goes by Madagascar, La Reunion, and Mauritius, to India and Singapore. 

In 2023, Mauritius Telecom pumped $60 million into the T3 cable, which connects the Indian Ocean island nation to South Africa. 

Additionally, Mauritius is connected on the northern route by LION/LION2-EASSy-EIG cable. 

Chart: Mauritius has had more broadband Internet subscribers than its population since 2019
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Reesaul explains that if India becomes a hub and the hub in Singapore significantly expands, the telecom company will experience something similar to the last redundancy towards the Far East. 

Also, Reesaul believes that Telkom SA, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, Cable & Wireless Ltd. of the Seychelles, and China Telecom Corp. are some telecom operators that could join the consortium.

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A project of that magnitude would cost between $150 million and $200 million and may take up to two years to complete.  

Reesaul notes that the T4 development highlights Mauritius Telecom’s long-term ambition to position itself as a regional operator. 


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