Africa Network Connections


The SAT3 / WACS / SAFE / EASSy cable system is indeed a technology and commercial breakthrough of unparalleled significance for Africa, offering a faster, more efficient trading channel between the continent and international markets.

SAT3 / WASC / SAFE is a historic achievement made possible by the participation of 36 nations, the majority of the landings are in African states. Together they have fully funded the undersea cable system costing more than US$600 million and will own and operate it for the next 25 years.

This project helps bridge the digital divide between Africa and the developed nations and all the role-players enjoy the access to knowledge brought about by the information revolution that has already had such a dramatic impact in the West, Europe, and the Far East. It brings the people of Africa the fast, efficient and affordable communications they need for sustained development and progress.

SAT3 stands for South Atlantic Telecommunications cable no.3.

WASC stands for West African Submarine Cable.

SAFE stands for South Africa Far East.

The Cable system is divided into two sub-systems, SAT3 / WASC in the Atlantic Ocean and SAFE in the Indian Ocean. The combined length of the SAT3 / WASC / SAFE system segments measures to an astonishing 28,800km!

The SAT3 / WASC sub-system connects Portugal (Sesimbra) with South Africa (Melkbosstrand) and has intermediate landing points at:

  • Spain (Chipiona)
  • Spain (Altavista)
  • Senegal (Dakar)
  • Côte d'Ivoire (Abidjan)
  • Ghana (Accra)
  • Benin (Cotonou)
  • Nigeria (Lagos)
  • Cameroon (Douala)
  • Gabon (Libraville)
  • Angola (Cacuaco)

From South Africa (Melkbosstrand) the SAT3 / WASC sub-system is extended via the SAFE sub-system to Malaysia (Penang) via the following intermediate landing points:

  • South Africa (Mtunzini)
  • La Reunion (St. Paul)
  • Mauritius, (Baie Jacotet)
  • India (Cochin)

Submarine Cables carry more than 80% of all overseas voice, fax and Internet communications. They generally offer better efficiency, reliability and security than satellites.

The link from Europe to South Africa has a total capacity of 120 Gigabits, equal to 5.8 million telephone calls, 1.45 million 64kb/s data channels or 2,304 television channels.

The link from South Africa to Malaysia has a total capacity of 130 Gigabits, giving it the potential to carry 6.28 million simultaneous telephone calls, 1.57 million 64kb/s data circuits or 2,496 television channels.

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