Subsea Expo

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BRIC Undersea Cable Plans Still Hazy

06 June 2012

Investors are still mulling over whether to greenlight the billion-dollar undersea cable project, which will link the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) to each other and the United States.

Reuters on Monday cited Andrew Mthembu, chairman of technology group i3 Africa and a senior official in the project, as saying that investors such as Internet giant Google are in the process of realizing the development of the US$1.5 billion, 34,000-kilometer cable. The subsea cable will be the first to link the four economies together and is expected to be operational by end of 2014, he added.

"I'm hoping within the coming six months, we will all be in a position to get all the consortium members into some sort of agreement, and then from there, it's then a 24-month period for manufacture and installation," Mthembu said in the report.

The cable, which was first proposed in May last year, would also widen access to 21 African countries as it links up with existing undersea cables, the chairman added.

South Africa's communication minister Dina Pule also said in the report that the new proposed cable, as well as five more submarine links planned by 2014, will "help improve the connection to our new trade partners, reduce the cost to communicate and improve the quality of Internet services" for the African region.