The impact of submarine cable breakdowns in Angola

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Recently a SAT-3 and WACS submarine cable malfunctions that slowed the Internet in Angola. On 16/01/2020, several interruptions were reported in terms of Internet services at submarine stations and submarine cables along the West African Coast. Countries like Mauritania, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon Congo and Angola were affected.

Each country had a “Hit ratio”, That is,“ impact ”with greater or lesser criticality. In the morning in Angola it was more critical because apparently both SAT-3 and WACS had problems

What really happened?

Following the introductory note and looking from outside the country, it was possible to notice that at around 9:46 am on 16/01/2020 only Gabon and Congo countries closest to Angola and located on the West African Coast were affected as shown in the image below.

Picture 1.0 - Countries affected by cut in submarine cables

Throughout the day after further monitoring using “Oracle Intelligence Tool”It was possible to see in picture 1.1 (taken at 11:15) that Côte d'Ivoire had an impact of 0.3%, Angola already appeared on the map as one of the affected countries and impacted by 0.6%, and the criticality in the Congo and Gabon (Compared to the previous image).

Picture 1.1 - Angola affected

Another catch made around 12:23 shows that the problem has spread and Namibia has become part of the affected countries along the coast with a “hit ratio”, Ie impact of 4.7%, minus 4.1% at the same time as Angola in image 1.1.

Image 1.3 - around 12:23 the impact seen in Angola increased exponentially and went from 0,6% to 7%.
Image 1.2 - Demonstrates a very serious problem in the Congo with 27% criticality (taken at 13:03).


  • SAT-3 submarine system cutoff;
  • WACS problems in the subsea system? Problems at underwater stations?
  • Clearly, Congo appears to have a problem with greater impact than other countries in the region;

Large Scale Problems

Knowing that the country has (3) subsea systems where (1) ends in Cacuaco and is managed by Angola Telecom and the other (2) ends in Sangano and are managed by Angola Cables is "CRITICAL" look at the following points:

  • It is essential to enter a new submarine cable in Angola and to end it in Cacuaco / Angola Telecom (examples: ACE, SIMBA and or EQUIAN);
  • The answer to point (2): At this time Sangano is well-served in terms of mooring submarine systems. Problem is the land routes from Luanda to Sangano that despite being redundant fibers the path is the same.

Imagining that there is a serious problem in the Kwanza bar - it will be impossible to reach WACS & SACS.

  • Sequence of point (2): So if one of the above cables is tied in Cacuaco we would have full redundancy in subsea systems taking into account the “lifetime” of the SAT-3 compared to the remaining years to reach the obsolete level.

Things to keep in mind: 

  1. The lifespan of an underwater system ranges from 20 to 25 years;
  2. The SAT-3 / WASC / SAFE was implemented in 2001 - therefore 19 years of actual use and approximately 6 years of remaining service life. "And we all know how time flies."


  • Entry of a new subsea system (very high priority);
  • Information and data hosting “LOCALLY” (very high priority);
  • Ground links to neighboring countries South, East and North (very high priority);
  • Use of SACS by regional operators in southern Angola (Namibia and South Africa);


  1. Regarding point number (2) there are already local cloud services such as: AZCloud of Multipla, ACloud Angola Cables, ITACloud; Mstelcom Cloud etc ..
  2. Following the above point it is important to mention that even business of Startups who have your information and or websites hosted abroad may be having trouble accessing your information;

It cannot be denied that problems of this magnitude can already be avoided, that the above recommendations are taken into consideration by decision makers as well as companies operating in the Angolan market to serve end users well.

Local Traceroute:

Cable TV Client in Angola for Europe (Lisbon):

The Way >>> Angola - Brazil - United States - Europe

traceroute to (, 64 hops max, 52 byte packets

  1. ( 2.908 ms 1.032 ms 0.890 ms
  2. ( 17.879 ms 3.662 ms 3.441 ms
  3. ( ​​3.037 ms 4.615 ms 4.445 ms
  4. ( 4.458 ms 8.326 ms 4.186 ms
  5. ( 5.104 ms 4.230 ms 4.778 ms
  6. ( ​​6.512 ms 13.140 ms 5.491 ms
  7. ( 58.626 ms 58.926 ms 58.316 ms
  8. ( 393.166 ms
  9. ( 426.863 ms 435.989 ms
  10. ( 60.172 ms
  11. ( 65.507 ms 96.327 ms (Sangano)
  12. ( 166.969 ms
  13. ( 121.830 ms
  14. ( 186.249 ms
  15. ( 182.672 ms 182.982 ms (Brazil)
  16. 12 ( 386.638 ms
  17. ( 502.372 ms 428.830 ms (London)
  18. ( 297.910 ms * *
  19. ( 316.465 ms 356.203 ms
  20. ( 427.225 ms
  21. ( 484.939 ms 423.628 ms
  22. ( 381.010 ms
  23. 16 ( 539.727 ms
  24. ( 438.773 ms
  25. ( 403.032 ms (Lisbon)

What was done in ~ 100ms with the current problems is done in ~ 403ms Luanda - Lisbon.


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