The telecoms partners working on building Ghana’s offshore broadband project to serve the data transfer needs of the oil companies operating on the Jubilee oil fields are facing a challenge that is delaying the timeline of the project. The oil companies’ preference for satellite technology is the challenge.
The collaborative offshore broadband project between MTN Ghana and PARD Energy of Norway was expected to have been completed by October 2010 before commercial production of oil started on December 15, 2010 but, it is yet to be completed
During question time at a one-day workshop in Accra Friday April 30, 2010, Mr. Trygve Tamburstuen of PARD Energy had said the project should be ready in six or nine months time.
But he told ghanabusinessnews.com on the phone last week from Norway that “it has taken longer to convince the oil companies to use the high speed broadband service.”
He said the oil companies have never been introduced to fibre optics, “they have been using satellite,” he said.
Meanwhile in an interview with Ahmad Farouk, MTN’s Vice President for West and Central Africa in Dakar on the sidelines of the West & Central Africa Com telecoms conference, he said they were still in negotiations without giving any details.
However, Mr. Tamburstuen told ghanabusinessnews.com that the design for the project has been finalised “June 30, 2011 is the deadline for tenders.”
If the project is completed, Ghana will become the first country in Africa to have such a project. The excess bandwidth, the companies say, would be used onshore.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi