The Uganda Electricity and Transmission company (UETCL) has reached a consensus with ZTE, a Chinese telecom equipment vendor to have the latter construct a hi-tech fibre cable along the formers power transmission lines . A venture expected to increase internet throughput and electricity penetration to not only rural households, but to also Uganda’s various neighbours.
The new dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) cable, has a larger capacity of 1,920 cores compared to the 24 cores supported by the current cable and is able to allow multiple connections to ISPs with little or no service interruptions.
The current 24 cores cable can only support a maximum of 12 clients each with speeds in averages of 70-80Gbps compared to the 80 clients, a sole core carries on the DWDM cable, with projected speeds of 100Gbps. A steady speed bump if you’re to make a comparison.
The old cable cable installed in 2003, with a purpose of achieving reliable, safe and efficient power supply saw its excess capacity leased to several telecommunication providers but the high demand for data services has seen both UETCL and ZTE enter into this partnership.
The deal financed by ZTE is valued at $2.5 million and is expected to commence in two phases with the first one benefiting regions of Kampala, Jinja and Tororo and will be connected to Kenya via the Malaba port.
The second phase will follow after and extend coverage to areas of Soroti, Lira, Masaka and the Fort Portal-Hoima area, and will be connected to Rwanda through Mirama border post.
In addition to the above Uganda will be well positioned in the East African region to pick and drop internet services, available on the submarine cables from Mombasa to Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan using the UETCL high voltage infrastructure backbone according to a statement on the UETCL website.