An interview with Angelo Gama, Executive Board Member, Angola Cables.

Editor’s Note: SCW has commented before on how changing trade routes will require new Internet infrastructure. With the growing economic power of Africa and South America, the potential for direct trade, and therefore new infrastructure, between the two continents was inevitable. Angola Cables has moved to fill the need for infrastructure with submarine cables, especially the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS), as well as data centers in Angola and Brazil.

During SubOptic 2019, SCW had the pleasure to speak with Angelo Gama, Executive Board Member for Angola Cables, about the impact that SACS and the other new infrastructure has had on the region.

Mr. Gama: Angola and Brazil share a common language and cultural heritage as both were Portuguese colonies. But while they had proximity, there was no connectivity. SACS changed that when it entered service last fall. By building a direct submarine cable across the Atlantic, we were able to reduce latency from 340 ms to only 63 ms. SACS is a bridge that brought Angola and Brazil closer together; allowing for low-latency applications such as financial transactions and gaming.

But the network and its impact extend beyond Angola and Brazil. With our investment in the West African Cable System (WACS), we have connectivity that ranges from South Africa to Europe and with the MONET cable, we can connect Brazil to the United States. Those cables, along with our capacity between the US and Europe, provide a fully protected ring configuration for our traffic.

In addition, we will open AngoNAP Fortaleza, a carrier neutral Tier III data center in Fortaleza this month. This data center will not just serve SACS but will facilitate digital development throughout the region. We have emphasized our connection with the local government in Fortaleza, which is the capital of the state of Ceará, to bring in development in areas such as health and education.

Back in Africa, we are seeing the fruits infrastructure brings to society. Angola Cables has the most capacity on WACS of any of the members of the consortium. We are bringing capacity to under-developed regions and that capacity will be used. Angola was the first country in Africa to deploy 4G, and is now getting ready for 5G, therefore it is not surprising that 80% of our capacity on WACS was sold inside the country.

Affordable and reliable access to the Internet brings huge opportunities to developing regions. We have witnessed the impact that new Internet infrastructure has on everything from the financial, entertainment, health, education and many other sectors.