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Cable Technology Feature Article

July 08, 2010

Phase 1of Main One Submarine Cable System Linking West Africa to Europe Now Completed

By Jayashree Adkoli, TMCnet Contributor

Main One Cable Company, a submarine cable company offering open access, wholesale broadband capacity in West Africa, announced the phase 1 completion of its custom-built 1,920-Gbps, 7,000-kilometer-long, submarine fiber-optic cable system, Main One, which will be linking West Africa to Europe.

According to a press release, the cable will deliver broadband capacity to West Africa with landing stations in Nigeria and Ghana and branching units in Morocco, Canary Islands, Senegal, and Ivory Coast. It has a design capacity of 1.92 terabit per second; which represents more than 10 times the current capacity available on the West Coast.

When completed, the Main One open access submarine cable system will span 14,000 kilometres and will provide international and Internet connectivity to countries between Portugal and South Africa on the West coast of Africa.

Main One was planned to interconnect countries on the Atlantic Coast from South Africa in the South to Morocco in the North with each other and through Portugal to the rest of the world. The cable system will originate in Seixal, Portugal where it will interconnect with other cable systems to London, New York and key cities in Asia.

The dual fibre pair, Dense Wave Division Multiplex project will directly connect landing stations in Accra and Lagos in Phase 1 and will have optional landings in Casablanca, Morocco; Tenerife, Canary Islands: Dakar, Senegal; Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire. In Phase 2, it will add on landings in Bonny Nigeria; Libreville, Gabon; Pointe Noire, Congo; Luanda, Angola; and Cape Town, South Africa, subject to the securing of licenses in these additional destinations.

As an open access cable, Main One will leverage its capacity to reduce international bandwidth prices. This will help in stimulating the growth of bandwidth intensive services such as IPTV (News - Alert), and HDTV.

Main One Cable Company anticipates that this cable system will impact businesses, governments, and individuals positively in the region by providing higher bandwidth and exceptional speeds at a lower cost. And, its impact will be felt in all sectors: from education, through to health and entertainment. This in turn will drive economic growth and create job opportunities all over Africa.

Fola Adeola, chairman, Main One Cable Company, said, "The arrival of the Main One cable proves that enormous good can be done by Africans for Africans. We are pleased to realize the fruit of our dedication and commitment over the past 30 months. More importantly, we are happy to be a channel for driving growth in Africa and changing the status quo for the average African by providing reliable internet connectivity that is easily accessible and affordable for all."

In the recent news, TMCnet reported that Alcatel-Lucent has signed a maintenance contract with Main One Cable Company for the Phase 1 of the Main One cable system.

Main One is a private sector-led initiative by Africans for the betterment of Africans and the rest of the world wishing to connect to Africa. Developed initially by private investors out of Nigeria and Ghana, the Main One is wholly owned by African investors.

Jayashree Adkoli is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jayashree's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri