Fibre Optic Cables

Uganda Telecom has started switching its customers from the satellite-delivered Internet connection to the new undersea fibre optic cable.

The eastern African region was connected to the rest of the world when a 17,000km-long undersea fibre optic cable delivered by the Euro-African consortium Seacom went live on July 23, 2009.

Uganda Telecom and Rwandatel signed up to Seacom this month and Uganda Telecom has announced that it is to start switching its Internet subscribers to the fibre optic cable connection.

Reports, as yet unconfirmed, say Uganda’s fourth mobile phone operator Warid Telecom is also preparing to switch on its subscribers to the Seacom cable after it paid for the right to log onto the Seacom cable via the Uganda Telecom link.

A source at Warid told the Uganda Record on Sept. 29 that the company is in the “final preparations” to connect its customers and rates will be “much cheaper” than they have been.

At present, the monthly cost of the USB modem EDGE mobile connection is 85,000shs at Warid and 90,000shs for MTN.

Other sources, however, say the current subscription rates will not come down but only the amount of band width offered to subscribers will be doubled.

The arrival of the high speed Internet is expected to reduce delays in office work, increase the use of Internet cafes by the public, enable live, online listening to music and watching video, and overall ease the flow of communications in Uganda.

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