680km stretch of National Long Distance cable goes live in SA

Mobile operators MTN and Vodacom and telecommunications network operator Neotel will begin benefiting from a new fibre optic network after the Gauteng to KwaZulu-Natal leg went live.

The National Long Distance (NLD) project was launched in 2008 and was originally meant to be in operation before World Cup 2010, but has suffered numerous delays as it looked to balance the needs of three competitors who had joined together to form the consortium with roads agency SANRAL.

The network consists of eight cables, two for each operator and two for SANRAL, and will support 400Gbit/s of bandwidth which could be increased.

The next phase of the project is to link Gauteng to Cape Town, but considering the first leg has gone live almost three years overdue no timescale has been placed on when it is expected to be completed.

Dimension Data company Plessey was among the construction partners involved in the project, along with Chinese giants Huawei.

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