" ITREALMS: Main One cable to boost Internet access


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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Main One cable to boost Internet access

Newly commissioned Main One Cable project is set to give a boost to Internet access in the West African sub-region.

The project being handled by the management of Tyco Telecommunications, according to the Chief Executive Officer, Main One, Mrs. Funke Opeke, will expand the frontiers of Internet access in West Africa.

Nigeria, Ghana and the rest of Africa, she said, are set to experience a major boost in Internet access and a heavy reduction in tariffs on completion of the Main One Cable project.

She recalled that a major milestone by her firm, especially for the West Africa sub-region, was the acquisition of the first ever issued under-sea cable system landing license in sub-region.

In addition, she said, Main One has made the requisite contractual payments to Tyco Telecommunications who will implement both phases of the project on a turnkey basis.

“Work has, therefore, begun on the massive intercontinental sub-marine fibre optic cable project,” she said.

Opeke explained that the Main One cable project is an ambitious under-sea fibre optic cabling project that will extend from Portugal to the West and Southern Coasts of Africa.

The first phase of the project, she said, will span 6,900 kilometres, extending from Portugal to Nigeria and Ghana on the West Coast of Africa.

While the second phase is expected to extend by another 6,000 kilometres to South Africa and Angola, using Dense Wave Multiplexing (DWM) technology of 1.28 Terabits per second with two fibre pairs.

With this, she said, the Main One cable has been designed to deliver more capacity to the region than any of the other existing or proposed under-sea fibre projects.
In addition to considerably enhancing broadband access, the Main One boss said, the cable project will help to crash tariffs significantly.

“It will provide open access to regional telecom operators and Internet Service Providers (ISP) at rates that are less than 20 per cent of current international bandwidth tariffs obtainable via the SAT 3 or satellite service operators,” she said.

Additionally, she pointed out, that the project will drive job provision across the continent.

“As a business championed by African entrepreneurs, Main One will encourage local content development via skills transfer of critical networking technologies. We will also enhance job creation with the location of the Global Network Operational Centre (GNOC) for the entire system in Nigeria and a cable station in Ghana,” Mrs. Opeke assured.

Opeke restated that the massive cabling project will provide a major boost to Internet access across the continent which currently stands at less than five per cent.

“In addition, Main One will help to ease the difficulties of switching traffic between African countries, eliminating the inconvenience and added costs of first routing traffic to Europe,” she said, noting that with the support of individual investors within the region, private equity institutions, development finance institutions and a handful of African banks, the development of the project and execution of the contract by Tyco Telecommunications remains in line as schedule for completion in May 2010,” said Opeke.

The Main One contract, she said, is now in force as scheduled and having completed the desk top study, “we are working with our supplier and key partners to bring this privately owned cable project to a successful execution.”

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