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Paratus launches low-latency fibre internet between Joburg and Europe

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A fast fibre internet route between Johannesburg and Europe has gone live after Paratus Group yesterday launched the express fast-speed internet connection.

The internet and IT services group said the fibre internet link between Johannesburg to the European city of Lisbon and the rest of the continent would help reduce connectivity latency to 123 milliseconds.

This comes after Paratus launched two fibre links from SA to Mozambique in October 2023, providing an alternative connection to undersea cables.

Paratus CEO Schalk Erasmus said the new connection will utilise the Infinera FlexILS and GX Series DWDM equipment, as well as state-of-the-art Infinera equipment that is capable of supporting wavelengths of up to 800GB.

“Our continual investment in creating Africa’s quality network is now extended with the launch of this express route (from Johannesburg to Europe),” Erasmus said.

“This is an exciting time for network operators in South Africa because they can now procure the fastest and most robust connectivity from Johannesburg to Europe.”

Paratus has also just completed a 1 890km fibre link from Johannesburg – via Botswana – to Swakopmund in Namibia.

This has been attained through connectivity to Paratus’s landed Equiano sub-sea cable that runs from Namibia to Lisbon, London and to the rest of Europe.

“Massive investment by the Paratus Group in its contiguous and diverse fibre network has resulted in the fastest route between Johannesburg and Lisbon, delivering a much lower latency compared to other similar routes,” the company said in a statement.

“The route is live now that the Johannesburg to Lobatse link is complete along with the Paratus-built Botswana Kalahari Fibre (BKF) which stretches across Botswana into Namibia to connect to the Cable Landing Station (CLS) in Swakopmund.”

Paratus added that the new link will enhance the smooth flow of data between the two continents of Africa and Europe though reduced connectivity interruption.

Last month, South Africa experienced intermittent connectivity issues after multiple fibre cables on the West Coast of Africa — WACS, MainOne, SAT3, ACE — broke.

Paratus acts as the landing partner for the Equiano sub-sea cable in Namibia, helping to bring an alternative route out of South Africa with the channel also able to mitigate “against possible fibre outages” between Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Paratus chief commercial officer, Martin Cox, said they offer unrivalled wholesale capacity solutions for network operators as a steadfast partner with pan-African expertise.

“Because we understand the unique connectivity needs of the various regions, we have tailored our solutions to meet their specific requirements,” Cox said.

“Culminating in this unique express route, we can now offer carriers and operators a diverse and unequalled transmission route to Europe.”

In addition to its internet connection services, Paratus also runs data centres in African countries such as Namibia.

In 2023, it received a $31 million (R590m) funding facility to build a data centre in Angola.

Paratus also opened a vendor-neutral teleport in Pretoria last year, a facility that delivers satellite connectivity to South African businesses and consumers even when power outages occur.

The Paratus Pretoria Teleport offers double redundant fibre routes to two independent data centres in South Africa, as well as power feeds, including dual uninterruptible power supply and multiple generators.

It also provides end-to-end management by Paratus South Africa, in addition to the primary and key satellite infrastructure and connectivity for businesses that rely on crucial transactional data.


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