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Ghana, Nigeria, granted Submarine Cable License

Main One Cable Company, one of the firms in the race to provide international communication links between Nigeria and the rest of the world through undersea fibre optic cable links has secured the pioneer landing licenses from Nigeria and Ghana respectively.

The licenses, secured from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Ghana’s National Communications Authority (GNCA) respectively, grant Main One Cable Company the right to land its intercontinental undersea fibre optic cable in Nigeria and Ghana.

Main One Cable Company has since begun work on erecting an undersea fibre optic cable from Portugal to Africa.

The first phase of the project spans 6,900 Kilometres and will extend from Portugal to Ghana and Nigeria with an additional 6,000 Kilometres extension to South Africa and Angola in the second phase.

Chief Executive Officer of Main One Cable Company, Funke Opeke, said the development represents a major landmark for the continent, as it ‘is the first time ever that a private sector driven undersea cable network is receiving landing licences’. The development according to Opeke, sets the stage for

Main One to land its undersea fibre optic cable, in both countries, even while negotiations are ongoing with other countries along the coastal route earmarked for the undersea cable.

The Main One undersea cable promises to boost Internet access across the African continent stated Opeke, “lies in the huge improvement in bandwidth which we will be driving even while reducing costs phenomenally”.

Main One, said Opeke, is deploying the very latest technology in undersea fibre optic cabling.

“In employing the combination of Dense Wave Multiplexing Technology of 1.28 Terabits per second and two fibre pairs”, said Opeke, “Main One will deliver far more capacity to the region than any existing or proposed undersea projects even while bringing costs down to about twenty percent of what is currently obtainable from SAT 3 or satellite service operators”.

The project, she added will provide open access to regional telecom operators and Internet Service providers.

In addition to providing a major boost to Internet access on the continent, Main One, said Opeke will help to considerably minimize the difficulties of switching traffic between African countries and eliminate the inconveniences and added costs of first routing traffic to Europe.

“We will also enhance job creation and local content development through skills transfer in ICT and particularly networking technologies”.

Beyond these direct benefits, however, said Opeke, the granting of the pioneer landing licenses to Main One Cable Company, represents a major milestone for the continuing growth of telecommunications regulatory capacity on the continent. “Intercontinental undersea cabling, especially as driven by private sector operatives is a relatively new phenomenon in Africa and it is remarkable that regulators are fast amassing the critical expertise with which to drive rapid growth and development in this unique area for the benefit of the continent”.

Opeke expressed delight at the impressive pace at which the ambitious Main One cabling project is progressing.

“All of the key stakeholders on this project including regulators, individual investors, private equity institutions, development finance institutions and a handful of African banks, as well as our turnkey project partners among others have been very supportive, and we remain confident that the Main One project will be completed on schedule in May 2010”.

Credit: Aaron Ukodie
Source: Daily Independent

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