Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Nigeria - Main One has completed section from Accra to Lagos

[daily independent] Main One submarine cable company, which was licensed to land undersea optical fibre cables to the shores of Nigeria, said it has completed the landing processes and would begin commercial service next month.

Main One Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Funke Opeke, who gave the information on Wednesday at the ongoing Second West African Information and Communications Technology Congress (WAFICT 2010) in Lagos, said phase one of the submarine cable project from Accra, Ghana to Lagos, Nigeria has been completed and that the company had begun trial testing of all its equipment, with a sure date of rolling out services in Ghana and Nigeria on July 1, the same day that the cable would land the shores of Lagos and Accra.

She said the landing of Main One submarine cable would provide full connectivity that would double what is currently available in Nigeria and that it would impact positively on businesses and reduce cost of bandwidth to a great extent. Speaking on further benefits of the expected submarine cable, Opeke said it would increase access to internet, facilitate fast broadband deployment, in addition to having a strong partnership between national and local service providers.

Speaking at the opening event for WAFICT 2010, Minister of Information and Communication, Prof. Dora Akunyili who was represented by Commissioner in charge of Standards at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Bashir Gwandu, said mobile subscription in the country had always been on the increase, leading to the attainment of 74.5 million active telecom subscriber lines in 2009, but that the proportion of fixed to mobile subscription indicated that the percentage of fixed lines changed from over 70 percent to less than 2 percent from 2001 to 2009. She attributed the decline in fixed line subscription to shortage of bandwidth, which she said, led to prohibitive prices.

According to the Minister, it was in recognition of the sharp decline in fixed line subscription that the NCC licensed Main One, Glo 1 and MTN WACS, to land undersea optical fibre cables on the shores of Nigeria, in order to facilitate last-mile deployment of broadband services and to boost fixed line subscription in the country.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Mkpe Abang, Editor-in-Chief of IT & Telecom Digest, sole Nigeria agent for WAFICT 2010, spoke on the theme of this year's exhibition and congress, "Moving West Africa Forward: Policy and Technology Imperatives," said they are passionate about the success of the West African sub-region and that of Africa, hence they positioned WAFICT Congress 2010 as the tool with which to galvanise the ICT industry into heights yet unknown.

Nigeria: Main One to Begin Commercial Rollout July 1

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