Journey to a connected Kenya subsea fiber optic

The country’s digital economy is set to receive a boost following plans by Telkom Kenya to invest in the sixth submarine fiber optic cable system that will link Kenya with the rest of the world.

The planned cable will be an additional undersea network that the government-owned telecommunication firm has a stake in, with the investment expected to connect the country with Asia and Europe.

In its environmental impact assessment placed with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Telkom Kenya is confident that when complete, the high-speed peace cable system will offer the shortest routes interconnecting three of the world’s most populous continents, China to Europe and ultimately Africa.

The telecommunications company which sought approval for the project from NEMA, noted that the undersea cables have huge bandwidth as well as high speed internet while reducing the cost of connectivity.

The cable dubbed ‘Pakistan and East Africa Connecting to Europe’ (PEACE), will be the sixth undersea cable to land in Mombasa since the East African Marine System, where Telkom is also a shareholder, and privately-owned Seacom in 2009.

Established as a telecommunications operator in April 1999, Telkom is 60 per cent owned by Helios Investment Partners, with the remaining stake held by Kenyans through the Government of Kenya. Telkom has 4,152 km of its own terrestrial fibre cabling, serving as a key conduit for broadband connectivity, inland.

The cable has key landing points in France, Pakistan and Kenya, with plans to extend to South Africa in its second phase.

Telkom Kenya is also a shareholder in the Lower Indian Ocean Network (Lion), the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (Eassy)and the Djibouti Africa Regional Express 1 (Dare1) cable systems, placing it at the heart of the largest network of submarine cables in the region.