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Angelo Gama

ANGOLA - Telecoms & IT

Ângelo Gama

CEO, Angola Cables

Bio

Ângelo Gama is the CEO of Angola Cables, a position he has held since 2020. He holds a degree in electrical and computer engineering from IST in Lisbon. He has more than 21 years of experience working in the telecommunications and information technology sectors. He was part of the launch of the first 3G mobile phone operator in Europe in his role at Three Mobile in the UK. He also participated in the merger between HP and Compaq and worked with Atos Origin in the Netherlands. As CTO and CCO for MSTelcom in Luanda, he was responsible for the implementation of the company’s over 4,000km-long fiber-optic backbone. Immediately prior to joining Angola Cables he was the general manager of Net One, one of the largest wireless ISPs in Angola.

"The major telecoms players in Angola came together 10 years ago for a huge investment of more than USD100 million in submarine cables."
Established by major telecoms players in the country, Angola Cables supports the digitalization of the economy by developing technology and building solutions internally while connecting South America and South Africa.
What was the rationale behind the decision of telecoms players to establish Angola Cables?

The major telecoms players in Angola came together 10 years ago for a huge investment of more than USD100 million in submarine cables. Angola Telecom was the biggest shareholder with 51%, followed by Unitel with 31%, MST with 9%, Movicel with 6%, and Startel with 3%. Later on, the decision was made to invest, build, or own cables from Rwanda all the way to Fortaleza in Brazil, the first South Atlantic cable connecting Africa to the Americas. Once we reached South America, we also decided it would be optimal to invest in cables and bring content produced in North America to Africa. This investment came with another consortium involving companies like Google. In Angola, today we are one of the three most international companies along with TAaG and Sonangol in terms of international visibility.

How did you cope with the increasing demand for online content during the pandemic?

In terms of capacity and upgrading our facilities, we almost doubled Angola Cables’ international capacity during the pandemic. We went from 800GB/s of data traffic to our current bandwidth of 1.5TB/s. We are now reaching almost 2TB in terms of traffic passing through our network. In terms of our social responsibility, we paired with the local government and doubled the capacity to all our customers in Angola for free during the pandemic. We did what we could to help companies to cope with heavy increase in demand at the time.

How is Angola Cables supporting the digitalization of the Angolan economy, and what business lines are you developing for companies?

Angola Cables started in telecommunications, and now we are gradually moving toward becoming a digital service provider. We have new departments working on developing technology and building our own solutions internally so that we can succeed in this era of digitalization. We also want to address several segments of the population other than just the corporate market, such as young developers looking for affordable cloud options. We want to provide local options so young developers and entrepreneurs do not have to go overseas and pay for services in foreign currencies.

What does it mean for South America and South Africa to be connected through the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS)?

Florida International University (FIU) is conducting postgraduate research about SACS and studying the impact of the international telecommunication ecosystem that this new cable brought to the world. We managed to connect Angola and Brazil—two countries that speak the same language and are separated by a seven-hour flight—in 62 milliseconds. We did not just stop in Brazil but went all the way through the US since many countries still consume a large amount of American content. On top of this, we recently announced that we plan to expand our current data center in Brazil. Fortaleza is the best and biggest data center in the whole state of Ceará. We are proud to say that our initial data center is completely full, and we are already announcing the expansion and the build-up of the next data center close by.

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