The much-awaited $130 million East African Marine Systems (TEAMS) cable project is expected to kick-off next week. At a stakeholders meeting on Monday in Nairobi, operators rolled out details and corrected anomalies on capacity allocation to ensure a smooth start. Information and Communication PS, Dr Bitange Ndemo said the cable capacity has been upgraded to 1.28 Tbps with an initial capacity of 120Gbps.
"We have upto next month to decide whether to have a fibre pair (640gbps) or two fibre pairs (1.2tbps). Additional cost for the second pair is minimal," said Ndemo.
He said Etilsat and France Telcom have expressed interest in TEAMS and with EASSY and SEACOM cables already planned for the East Coast. The cost of Internet connectivity is expected to fall by about 200 per cent in two years, said Ndemo. The cable will provide cheap connectivity not only to Kenyans, but also serve other countries in the Great Lakes region.
The project would be finished by the second quarter of next year, added Ndemo. The cable is expected to slash bandwidth costs to $400 (Sh26, 800) per megabyte. Currently, the same costs between $6,500 (Sh435,500) - $7,500 (Sh502, 500). The cable will run from the port of Mombasa to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. The Government and Safaricom are the anchor shareholders at the ratio of 20 to 30 per cent. Other major shareholders include Econet, Kenya Data Network and Celtel, Telkom Kenya and Wananchi online.