Ghana, Nigeria and the rest of Africa are set to experience a major boost in Internet access and a hefty reduction in tariffs with the commencement of the Main One Cable Project. The two faceted fibre projects are an ambitious under-sea fibre optic cabling project that will extend from Portugal to the West and Southern Coasts of Africa respectively.
The first phase of the project will span 6,900 kilometres, extending from Portugal to Ghana and Nigeria on the West Coast of Africa.
Whiles the second phase is expected to extend by another 6,000 kilometres to South Africa and Angola.
Using Dense Wave Multiplexing technology of 1.92 Terabits per second with two fibre pairs, the Main One cable is designed to deliver more capacity to the region than any of the other existing or proposed under-sea fibre projects.
Both projects are scheduled to be completed and operational in June 2010.
Ms. Funke Opeke, Chief Executive Officer of Main One said the project will provide open access to regional Telecom operators and Internet Service Providers at rates that are less than the current international bandwidth tariffs obtainable via SAT 3 or satellite service operators.
She said, the project was based on the most advanced and latest technology which will provide cutting edge technologies and direct international connectivity for West African countries to Europe and beyond.
She added that the system will ease the difficulties and reduce the cost of switching traffic between African countries without the need to go through Europe, as well as provide broadband capacity to expand Internet access in the sub-Saharan region, which currently stands at less than five percent.
The Main One project is also expected to drive job provision across the continent by encouraging local content development via skills transfer of critical networking technologies.
Thomas E Schaefer Jnr., Senior Engineer - Tyco Telecommunications and head of the team, in their visibility studies and soil testing at the landing site at Nungua in Accra told the paper that the team was so far satisfied with results from the testing and was optimistic that the project will be completed as scheduled.
Main One Cable system, a Nigerian firm with a Mauritius holding entity acquired the first submarine fibre optic cable landing license from the National Communications Authority (NCA) in November 2008, to land its intercontinental undersea fibre-optic cable in the country.