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Partnerships pushing telecoms success

Article - July 31, 2014
Engineering companies such as Anglobal are ensuring telecommunications in Angola are getting off the ground
ANGLOBAL WAS FOUNDED IN 2003 AND ITS HEADQUARTERS ARE IN BENGUELA, WITH AUXILIARY OFFICES ALSO LOCATED IN LUANDA, LUBANGO, NAMIBE, HUAMBO AND MALANGE
Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Benguela, with auxiliary offices in Luanda, Lubango, Namibe, Huambo and Malange, Anglobal prides itself on being a cutting-edge engineering company in the field of telecommunications.

Though at present the company is mostly focused on the operation and maintenance of networks and infrastructure, both representing a very significant source of its revenue, the company’s mission is to become synonymous with engineering excellence in Angola, in particular in the field of telecommunications solutions and alternative energies.

“In the future, we want Anglobal to become a company of reference in engineering in Angola, especially with regard to telecommunications,” says Victor Lima, Anglobal’s ambitious Director General. “We want the engineering aspect to become increasingly predominant, fundamental and strong.”

Regardless of the realm of services, Anglobal’s mission is consistent: to provide comprehensive engineering and telecommunications services and highly competent project management so that clients can be unfettered to focus exclusively on matters related to their core business.

These meticulous company service standards are reflected in the elite portfolio of clients that Anglobal curretly services.

On the home front, it counts major telecoms players including Unitel, Movicel, Angola Cables, Angola Telecom and MSTelecom, among its clients. In addition to these large companies, it also provides equipment and engineering solutions for the likes of international giants including, but not limited to, Huawei, Alcatel, Emerson and Ericsson.

InternatioNalization strategy

According to Mr. Lima, another of the company’s main objectives is to expand its international footprint. Though the company has strong roots in Angola, it was also recently involved in telecommunications network projects in São Tomé. “In this project, we supply the data center and the generators,” explains Mr. Lima. “As our first experience of internationalization, all is going well, despite some setbacks. In the same vein, we have a project in a French-speaking country in Africa, for which we have presented our proposal, but there is nothing definitive yet.”

Anglobal’s mission is to provide comprehensive engineering and telecommunications services and highly competent project management so clients can be unfettered to focus on matters related to their core business.

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“In the future, we want Anglobal to become a company of reference in engineering in Angola, especially with regard to Tecommunications”

VICTOR MANUEL TEIXEIRA DE LIMA
Director General of Anglobal
Essentially, Mr. Lima’s vision for the company he leads is to consolidate the process of internationalization by turning Anglobal into a true engineering company focused on telecommunications and energy.

One strategy for effectively accomplishing this goal includes more aggressively mining new possibilities for alternative energies, though the company’s director general doesn’t believe this needs to be done immediately.

He estimates that the market isn’t quite yet ripe for such changes, but as soon as it adjusts and presents a more favorable situation, Mr. Lima asserts that Anglobal will be on the front line. With already one foot well placed on the international scene, he is confident that it won’t be long before the other follows.

Anglobal community care

Anglobal also places a great deal of emphasis on corporate responsibility and is actively involved in a variety of social welfare projects. From HIV/AIDS awareness projects, to programs offering scholarships to Anglobal employees with children who demonstrate academic excellence, the company is committed to improving life in the communities that surround it.

Every year at Christmas, for instance, the company makes a sizable donation to a local children’s home, as part of a mission organized by the Angolan National Institute for Children. This past holiday season, in addition to providing over 500 gifts, Anglobal organized a holiday celebration for 40-50 children of one home.

Anglobal employees also collected data on the ways they might be able to improve operations and comfort standards at the children’s home. Since air conditioning is really a basic necessity in Angola, where temperatures are often oppressively hot, Anglobal installed a climate-control system in the home, and also provided a generator to power it. To date, these and similar benevolent actions sponsored by Anglobal are estimated to have benefitted some 3,000 children and more benefits will follow.

Angola Cables connects Angola to the world

One of Anglobal’s clients, Angola Cables – the African submarine telecommunications cable system – is taking the reins to ensure Angola remains a vital contender in the move towards a more globally linked Africa.

The company has witnessed rapid growth recently as demand for bandwidth and connectivity grows as the result of economic and international trade expansion.

As recently as 2009, the only submarine telecommunications cable was the South Atlantic 3 (SAT3), linking Portugal to South Africa. With 12 landing points, including one in Cacuaco, Angola, this landing station was the first of many to include Angola in an increasingly developed network of telecommunications cables.

The country’s five main telecommunications operators, Angola Telecom, Unitel, MSTelcom, Movicel, and Startel, founded Angola Cables in 2009. Each of these operators hold a 51%, 31%, 9%, 6%, and 3% stake in the company, respectively.
The main business of Angola Cables is to manage international communications between Angola and the rest of the world via undersea fiber optic cables.

SACS and WACS

Among its latest projects is the much-buzzed construction of a new fiber-optic undersea cable that will form part of the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) – one of the first transatlantic systems in the southern hemisphere to link Africa to South America. A network for developing telecommunications in Africa, the SACS will essentially serve as a groundbreaking alternative to Africa’s links with the rest of the world.

According to António Nunes, the CEO of Angola Cables, “the SACS link will provide faster access from South America to Asia, eliminating the need to pass through North America and Europe and reducing the distance between the São Paulo and Hong Kong stock exchanges, which could be very interesting for the banking sectors.”

The SACS project is funded by Angola Cables, which is sinking $160 million into its development and expects the cables to be installed by the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016. With a capacity of 40 tetrabits per second, or 40 trillion bits transmitted per second, the cable system stretches 3,728 miles from Angola’s capital, Luanda, to the Brazilian city of Fortaleza, with a leg connecting to the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha.

While the deployment of this ambitious cable project is bound to give Angola an even more solid positioning as a key ICT player in sub-Saharan Africa, the burden of financing the project and assuring the necessary returns will indubitably be a challenge for the Angola Cables, as well as for the Angolan authorities. If all goes according to plan, however, there are also talks of extending the breadth of the cable to include the municipality of Santos, in São Paulo, as well as Miami, USA. If these extensions are added, Angola Cables would be looking at an additional investment of about $100 million.

In addition to its critical role with the SACS, Angola Cables also controls the management of the Angolan participation (11.4%) in the West Africa Cable System, also known as WACS. A consortium of several European and African operators, WACS is responsible for a 8,700-mile submarine telecommunications cable that connects Yzerfontein (South Africa) to Highbridge (United Kingdom). The total cost for that cable system was $650 million and includes 14 landing points; 12 along the western coast of Africa, and two in Europe. Of the African landing points, one is favorably positioned in Sangano, Angola. This particular landing station in Sangano is located about 9 miles north of Cabo Ledo, or 75 miles south of Luanda, and was inaugurated on June 29th, 2012.

Through its active and significant involvement in both the WACS and SACS networks, Angola Cables has shown its unflinching commitment to ensuring that both Angola Cables as a company, but also the country of Angola at large, remain at the forefront of the telecoms industry in sub-Saharan Africa working alongside Anglobal.

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