BRICS Countries Planning a 34,000 Kilometres Long 12.8Tbps Undersea Cable
A group of countries always referred to as BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are planing to build a US$1.6billion undersea cable to provide direct Internet connections between themselves. The countries plan the 34 000-kilometre long undersea cable to link the five countries that currently account for 40 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of global GDP.
The announcement was made by South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, last BRICS Summit in the Indian city of Delhi. Zuma also revealed that the group also plan to establishing a development bank. The bank is planned to rival both the World Bank and IMF.
BRICS countries currently mostly rely on internet connectivity through hubs located in Europe and North America. The connections are both expensive to the respective countries as well as a big security concern.
Feasibility studies for the undersea cable began in March 2011 and French telecommunications giant, Alcatel, has completed the route survey.
The cable which will interconnect with the West African Cable System (WACS) and SEACOM on Africa’s East coast, is expected to stretch from the Russian Pacific coast, along China, around India, down to South Africa, on to Brazil and finally to the United States. The landing points for the cable will be in Vladivostock , Miami, Shantou, Singapore, Chennai, Mauritius, Cape Town, and Fortaleza.
The system will have speeds of up to 12.8 terabits per second, making it 1 000 times faster than the Telkom SAT-1 cable, which for 20 years has been the primary connection between South Africa and Europe. It will also be two-and-a-half times faster than the WACS.
The cable is expected to be operational by the second half of 2014.
BRICS have been upping their co-operation in recent months with the group recently announcing a 29-percent increase in intra-BRICS trade and January seeing the inauguration of direct flights between Johannesburg and Beijing by SA Airways.