Madagascar’s national telecommunications operator Telma is now connected to the MeltingPot Indianoceanic Submarine System (METISS), a €50-million fibre optic cable system developed to expand broadband coverage to the region.
METISS connects Mauritius to South Africa. It consists of a 3,200km trunk from the island nation to South Africa and has branching units to Reunion Island and Madagascar. The cable has a design capacity of 24Tbps.
Liquid Telecom has been selected as METISS’ Landing Party in South Africa and is responsible for the installation of the terrestrial component of system and its operation in South Africa.
At Pipeline Beach in Amanzimtoti in KwaZulu-Natal, the cable lands to a beach manhole in South Africa. The cable landing station in Amanzimtoti is an already existing facility that is owned by Liquid Telecom South Africa, which hosts and manages the METISS submarine cable and provides backhaul to carrier neutral Teraco datacentre.
On 22 March, during the official inauguration of the connection, Telma stated that it took five years for it to join other operators utilising the infrastructure.
METISS affirmed that it is now well positioned to compete effectively within Madagascar’s burgeoning broadband segment.
Xavier Hermesse, president of the METISS consortium, said, “These five years of intense work is a fine example of cooperation between the six regional operators that we are. By building our own cable ourselves, we have been able to promote the interests of our respective territories and achieve real common work for the economic and social development of our islands.”
In 2017, an agreement for the construction and management of the METISS submarine fibre optic cable was signed by telecoms operators in Indian Ocean Islands — Telma, CEB FiberNet, Emtel, Canal + Telecom, SFR Réunion, Zeop. They were later joined by Telco OI (Only) from Mayotte; Blueline and Airtel from Madagascar; and Belgacom International Carrier Services.
In June 2020, CS Teliri, the cable ship of Elettra, the Italian subsidiary of Orange Marine, deployed the infrastructure.
The cable was expected to be operational in the same year, but this was delayed because of COVID-19.
With the connection to METISS, Telma said its capacity to meet the growing demand for connectivity in Madagascar has been strengthened.