Data Center POST interview with Artur Mendes, CCO, Angola Cables
By Contributing Editor Sarah Chamberlain
Artur Mendes is CCO of Angola Cables, a multinational telecommunications operator of subsea fiber optic cables. Built in 2009 by the five major Angolan telecom operators, the company is driven by the Angolan government’s vision of transforming Angola into a communications hub. The company’s core business is the commercialization of capacity in international voice and data circuits over submarine cables, providing international transmission capabilities to all operators and increasing the interconnection between Angola and the world. Artur is a highly accomplished sales management professional leveraging over 17 years of experience. Throughout his career he has led operator and retail accounts, developed and implemented highly effective sales activities, facilitated business growth and increased revenues and market shares.
Artur recently sat down with Data Center POST to discuss Africa’s connectivity landscape and how Angola Cables is meeting global requirements.
Data Center POST, Sarah Chamberlain (DCP-SC) Question: What milestones did Angola Cables achieve in 2018 and how will these developments help the company keep up with the demands of the quickly growing and ever-changing telecommunications industry?
Angola Cables, Artur Mendes (AC-AM) Answer: In September 2018, Angola Cables’ SACS (South Atlantic Cables System) project went live, becoming the first submarine cable linking Africa and South America through the South Atlantic.
The 6,300km cable opens up a new route in the telecoms industry, making connectivity between South America – Europe and South America – Asia now possible, with Africa as a connection point. Not only has this route created a brand-new avenue for international cross connections, this network will also empower the Southern Hemisphere to create new business opportunities.
The SACS system dramatically cuts data traffic time and costs, facilitating greater and faster traffic flows between South America, Africa and onwards to Asia. The newly-developed route can accelerate the speed of transformation in the Southern Hemisphere by pulling IP gravity from the U.S. and Asia to South America and Africa.
Compared to existing indirect submarine cable networks, SACS offers a significant reduction in latencies, with an expected latency of 63ms between Sangano, Angola and Fortaleza, Brazil. As such, SACS offers a genuine alternative to the traditional ‘northern’ IP traffic routes.
DCP-SC Q: What are you most looking forward to accomplishing over the next year? The next 3-5 years?
AC-AM A: In the next few years, Angola Cables will continue to be an active, present and persistent name in the African telecommunication scene. We will be concentrating on developing lasting relationships within this region to position Africa as a digital hub.
In addition, offering cloud services will be a natural process of evolution for the company, building on our existing cable networks and data center infrastructure on either side of the Atlantic.
DCP-SC Q: What do you think is the greatest challenge that is impacting your industry and how is Angola Cables working to overcome it?
AC-AM A: With the bulk of investments into submarine cables happening in the North Atlantic and multiple cables being built between the EU and the U.S., these two continents have, until now, been far better positioned to supply capacity and content to the rest of the world. It is therefore unsurprising that the Southern Hemisphere is currently known for having some of the lowest levels of connectivity in the world.
However, Africa is beginning to shift the balance of power as it becomes a more active contributor to the global telecommunications highway. The South Atlantic Cable System has significantly improved Angola’s recognition as a major African player in telecommunications. The development and completion of SACS has shown that Angola is seriously pursuing a major communications role, linking the African and South American continents. With SACS providing a brand-new data route, it has shown that Angola has forward-thinking companies that are investing in the future.
Further expansions in Africa would enable other major centers and emerging markets across the Atlantic to be connected at a later stage.
DCP-SC Q: What can we expect from Angola Cables in 2019?
AC-AM A: While Angola Cables does not plan to undertake construction of any additional submarine cables in the near future, we see potential to connect Asia to South and North America through the partnerships we have made.
Our stakes in the MONET and WACS cables, as well as full ownership of SACS, give us the necessary capacity to match demand and strengthen traffic routings within the Southern Hemisphere. The business is moving towards strengthening the connectivity between South America, North America and Africa while providing a new fail safe for the large number of cables that currently use routes through the Suez Canal.
DCP-SC Q: Thanks so much for the great insights, Artur. To learn more about Angola Cables, please visit www.angolacables.co.ao.