Telcos in East Africa restore Internet service 4 days after cable cut

·
May 16, 2024
·
2 min read
subsea cable

The news: 

  • Telcos in East Africa, including Kenya and Uganda, have restored network services four days after the damage to two submarine Internet cables connecting South Africa and Kenya, owned by Eastern Africa Submarine System (EASSy) and Seacom. 
  • On May 16, 2024, Safaricom announced to its Kenyan subscribers that network services are back online. Airtel Uganda, on the other hand, said its Internet services are now at “near normal” levels. 
  • This follows Orange Marine's vessel, Léon Thévenin, departure from Cape Town Harbour on May 14, 2024, heading to the site of faults on EASSy and Seacom cables. 

The ship is expected to arrive on May 18 and can operate in water depths ranging from 10 metres to 7 kilometres. Equipped with several cable repair tools and a remotely operated vehicle for detecting, cutting, recovering, joining, and testing undersea fibre cables, the ship was repairing an SAT-3 cable in Abidjan before docking in Cape Town on April 25.

Moreover, in February 2024, three subsea cables — SEACOM/TGN-Eurasia, EIG, and Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1) — in the Red Sea were destroyed, connecting Africa and Southeast Asia to Europe. Houthi rebels were blamed for the cable damage. 

The Iran-backed Houthis, designated as a terrorist group by the US and its allies, control most of the Western Asian nation’s telecom infrastructure. This includes part of TeleYemen, the country’s only international carrier. 

The Yemeni government has reportedly prevented the commencement of repairs on a major Internet cable, AAE-1 cable, damaged in the Red Sea due to an ongoing criminal investigation into the cable owners’ possible connection to the nation’s Houthi rebels.

Advertisement

According to reports, the government has contacted the AAE-1 submarine cable consortium to inform them that they’re being looked into over possible terrorist ties. 

The court has ordered the consortium to submit details on corporate transactions and ownership structures or face criminal prosecution. The consortium members have yet to speak publicly about the investigation. 

TeleYemen is part of a consortium that owns and manages the damaged 25,000-kilometer (15,534-mile) AAE-1 cable system. Other consortium members include Etisalat, Omantel, Ooredoo, Reliance Jio Infocom, and Telecom Egypt. 

It’s the relationship between the Houthi rebels and TeleYemen that the Yemeni government is probing as it’s suspected that the consortium members may be indirectly funding terrorism.

In 2014, the Houthi rebels took control of some parts of Yemen, including the nation’s capital, Sana’a. Thus, TeleYemen was split into two, leaving part of the telecom business in the AAE-1 consortium in the Houthi-controlled territory.

Be the smartest in the room

Join 30,000 subscribers who receive Techpoint Digest, a fun week-daily 5-minute roundup of happenings in African and global tech, directly in your inbox, hours before everyone else.
Digest Subscription

Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime. Privacy Policy.

While the investigation is ongoing, the government will withhold permission for cable ships to repair AAE-1.


Got a tip? Our journalists are ready to dig deeper. Please share your insights and information and help us uncover the stories that matter.

Subscribe To Techpoint Digest
Join thousands of subscribers to receive our fun week-daily 5-minute roundup of happenings in African and global tech, directly in your inbox, hours before everyone else.
This is A daily 5-minute roundup of happenings in African and global tech, sent directly to your email inbox, between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m (WAT) every week day! 
Digest Subscription

Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime. Privacy Policy.

Other Stories

43b, Emina Cres, Allen, Ikeja.

 Techpremier Media Limited. All rights reserved
magnifier