ZTE Selected to Build Cross-Border Optical Transmission Network in Zambia

On October 2, China’s ZTE Corporation signed a partnership agreement with African telecommunications operator, MTN Zambia, for construction of a cross-border Optical Transmission Network backbone extending from the Zambian capital of Lusaka to the country’s Sesheke region near the border with Namibia.  MTN Zambia has stated that the fiber optic cable will be constructed using ZTE components, with the expectation that the new cable will boost Zambia’s internet connectivity and reduce data costs for consumers.

From Sesheke, the cable is expected to be connected to the West African Cable System (WACS) through the landing station in Swakopmund, Namibia.  The WACS is a 14,530 km submarine cable extending from South Africa to London, with major landing points along the west African coastline. The cable has been upgraded by Huawei Marine Cables on two separate occasions.

Chinese telecommunications companies, ZTE and Huawei, remain among the leading vendors for African telecommunications networks, despite the security risks that have been highlighted by the United States among others.