Safaricom achieves global first with 400G network link

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The link will offer speeds of 400 gigabits per second increasing capacity for heavier usage and network expansion

Safaricom has announced the deployment of a 400G network link, making its network among the first in the world to commercially deploy the solution.

The new 400G link will enable Safaricom to support increasing video consumption alongside demand for higher video quality from both its home and mobile customers.  The giant telco will also be able to support the emergence of smart homes more efficiently.

“The 400G solution will support the continued growth of our network which is being driven by an explosion in internet usage,” said Thibaud Rerolle , Safaricom’s chief technology officer,  adding that  mobile data usage on the firm’s  network has been doubling year-on-year while its  fibre network now reaches more than 220,000 homes and 17,000 businesses across more than ten towns. It has therefore become prudent for the telco to invest in the latest network technology to ensure that it can support the demand from its customers in the long run.

Supported by Huawei, the high capacity link will quadruple the company’s capacity to carry internet traffic over 500 kilometres.  It  will achieve a speed of up to 400 gigabits per second. This is an upgrade from the previous connection which offered speeds of 100 gbps.

Safaricom and Huawei announced deployment of the solution at the ongoing Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain.  This is the largest mobile event in the world, bringing together the latest innovations and leading-edge technology from more than 2,400 firms.

Tremendous growth

In a period of two years running up to September 2018, Safaricom experienced a four-fold growth in average data usage per customer. The usage went up from 160 to 640 megabytes per customer per month.

Safaricom also saw its 4G coverage grow to more than 2,600 sites providing coverage to more than 53 per cent of the country’s population, while its 3G coverage now offers high-speed broadband to more than 91 per cent of the population.

To accommodate its growing network coverage, Safaricom has also laid more than 5,500 kilometres of fibre linking its masts in over 16 major towns.

The 400G standard was approved in December 2017 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, paving the way for network equipment suppliers and operators to begin deploying equipment that officially conforms to the standard.

 

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