Deployment is underway on a USD200 million submarine fibre-optic cable system, which aims to provide reliable internet and telecoms services to telecoms operators across Ghana and Nigeria, Ghanaian journal myjoyonline reports. The project, being carried out by the Main One Cable Company, is designed to help reduce the problems associated with switching internet traffic between African countries and also to eliminate the inconveniences and added cost of first routing traffic via Europe. Main One Cable has already begun the process of laying the cables, which will span 6,900km extending from Portugal to Ghana and Nigeria, with an additional 6,000km extension to South Africa and Angola planned in the second phase. Main One Cable is a Nigeria-registered company with a wholly-owned subsidiary in Ghana. Last year it secured cable landing licences from Ghana's National Communications Authority and the Nigerian Communications Commission respectively, granting it the right to land its intercontinental undersea fibre-optic cable in Ghana and Nigeria.
According to the chief executive officer of Main One Cable Company, Funke Opeke, the new cable system marks a major landmark for the continent, being the first time ever that a private sector driven undersea cable network has secured landing licences in Africa. The CEO went on to say that her company is deploying the latest technology in undersea fibre-optic cabling. 'In employing the combination of Dense Wave Multiplexing Technology of 1.28Tbps and two fibre pairs, Main One will deliver far more capacity to the region than any existing or proposed undersea projects even while bringing costs down to about 20% of what is currently obtainable from SAT 3 or satellite service operators,' Opeke said.