Huawei, China Unicom to Build 6000-km Cameroon-Brazil Fiber Optic Cable

Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer Huawei has partnered with service provider China Unicom to build a 6000-km undersea cable linking Kribi, Cameroon with Fortaleza in Brazil.  The cable will provide the greatest level of data transmission capability linking South America and Africa.  Using Huawei Marine’s leading 100 G technology, it will have an initial system capacity of 32 Tbps and come into service at the end of 2017.  Part of Cameroon’s National Broadband Network (NBN) initiative, it will also bring much-needed capacity expansion to the underserved Cameroonian market.

The Export-Import Bank of China will provide most of the financing for the project, which has been under negotiation since 2015, but Huawei will also provide some of the funding.  For Huawei, the cable builds upon the firm’s handset sales in Cameroon, where it also completed a solar power station in 2015.  In Brazil, Huawei sponsors soccer club Santos and also assisted Spanish telecom company Telefonica in the upgrading of a 4G network covering 11 countries across Latin America.

Huawei Marine has reportedly sub-contracted the cable supply for this contract to Norwegian firm Nexans, which will deliver the cable to Huawei for laying by the end of 2017.  Huawei previously partnered with Nexans in delivering the Nigeria-Cameroon Submarine Cable System, which constituted Phase I of the NBN project.