FOURTH SEABED FIBRE OPTIC CABLE LANDS IN MOMBASA
Connectivity will be vastly improved, as will back up in case of service disruptions as seen recently when two of the three cables had been damaged at the same time, with the arrival of LIONS2 at the Kenyan coast. The Lower Indian Ocean Network 2 is according to reports operated by France Telecom / Orange and connects Kenya from Mayotte, a French dominion near the Comoros Islands and to all other African countries where France Telecom / Orange has subsidiaries. It is expected that this cable will be joined to existing network cables to Uganda as well where Orange has established itself as a major telecommunications brand and is market leader for wireless internet via USB modems and smart phones. The new cable joins TEAMS, SEACOM and EASSy all of which have been in operation for some time now and fibre optic cables are now connecting these systems across Kenya into Uganda and Rwanda.
Consumers in Kenya are now anticipating a boost in connectivity but also a drop in rates for surfing the net, conventionally via broadband connections to desktops in offices, via USB modems to laptops and netbooks and on smart phones and tablets, which still is rather pricey for most, as the envisaged lower costs after the arrival of the three seabed cable networks has still not percolated down to the public.
Meanwhile have disputes erupted in Uganda over the quality of the national fibre optic backbone set up by government, as experts now question the specifications of the cables use grossly underdimensioned some claim while installation specs too seem to have been exposed by an audit as substandard with few of the checked locations reaching the prescribed depth of 1.2 metres below ground. In addition, few if any protective measures against accidental cuts or acts of sabotage could be established, critics of the project have said. The trials and tribulations of entering the cyber age and the age of e-Commerce. Watch this space.