[AfrICANN-discuss] Nigeria: MainOne Fibre Optic Cable Launched

Mamadou LO alfamamadou at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 22 14:14:41 SAST 2010

Nigeria: MainOne Fibre Optic Cable Launched
Gboyega Akinsanmi
22 July 2010

Lagos — History was made yesterday as MainOne Company Limited launched the commercial operation of its fibre optic cable technology which is expected to revolutionise Information Communication Technology (ICT).

The technology which took off in Lagos yesterday, cost about $240 million (N36 billion) and will provide international video conferencing with clear audio and visual quality irrespective of location.

Chairman of the of the company, Mr. Fola Adeola, said the submarine cables were laid from Portugal to Lagos covering a distance of about 7,200 kilometres. Adeola, who is the former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, added that the firm currently has a solid base in London, South Africa, Bangalore and Tenerife.

The MainOne chairman acknowledged that a major difficulty was encountered in executing the project expected to catalyse a major change in Africa's information and communication, especially while laying the sub-sea cables,

According to him, in some countries, the firm was required to sign papers and pay for right of way, while others required the company to sign an undertaking not to damage subsea cables already in place in the course of laying its own.

Also speaking at the launch, MainOne Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Ms. Funke Okpeke, said the technology "will be transmitting at a speed of 4.92 terabytes about five terabytes. What has been made available is faster than the 40 gigabytes that is available in Europe." Okpeke explained that the cable made landing in Ghana, Morocco, Canary Islands, Senegal and Ivory Coast.

The managing director added: "The cable will deliver unprecedented broadband capacity to West Africa more than ten times what is currently available. With its cable systems now turned on, MainOne is poised to champion a communications revolution in Africa by impacting businesses, governments and individuals by providing higher bandwidths and exceptional speed at a lower cost.

"It will impact all sectors from education to health, entertainment etc. It will help to drive economic growth and create job opportunities in the whole of Africa," Okpeke explained.

In his address, Acting Vice Chairman Nigeria Communications Commissions (NCC), Dr. Bahire Gwandu, warned them not to be complacent, adding that bigger ones with higher capacity will soon be around the corner.

Gwandu said that because the NCC's desperation for a fibre optic cable to rollout in the country forced it to slash the firm's license to N25 million and called on the firm to reciprocate the gesture by making sure that Nigerians have access to the service at the cheapest available rate.

Gwandu called on Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) to reduce cost per kilometre on right of way for telecommunications companies so that the services would come to Nigerians at a cheaper rate. The NCC helmsman explained that telecommunications companies "are crying wolf that the state government charges $60 per kilometre of right of way."

Speaking on the occasion, Fashola, who commended the company, called on telecoms firms to always inform the state ahead of time instead of destroying existing infrastructures just to lay cables.

Also, his Cross River State counterpart, Governor Liyel Imoke, said the technology "is ground-breaking. It will revolutionise business and technology in Nigeria and Africa. The technology was later demonstrated with teleconferencing between Lagos and London, Bangalore in India, South Africa and Tenerife."


Source : This Day
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