A submarine cable linking West Africa to Europe which recently went live has been hailed as huge plus to the information and communication technology industries in Africa.
The 7,000 kilometers-long fiber optic Main One Cable runs from Portugal to Nigeria and Ghana, and also branches out to Morocco, the Canary Islands, Senegal and Ivory Coast.
The Main One Cable Company had said “the cable will deliver unprecedented broadband capacity to West Africa, more than ten times what is currently available (South Atlantic Terminal, SAT-3).”
The Editor of Nigeria Communications week, Ken Nwogbo said “with the landing of main one, more people are going to get off SAT 3 and hook up to main one and provide channels where other people can now take-off and deliver faster, more affordable internet to the end user.”
The Main One Cable Company had said “with its cable system now turned on, Main One is poised to champion a communications revolution in Africa impacting businesses, governments and individuals by providing higher bandwidth and exceptional speeds at a lower cost.’’
But how soon can the undersea cable translate into cheaper and faster Internet for Nigerians and Africans?
Using Nigeria as a case study, Nwogbo said, ‘‘There are certain things that have not been put in place, such as the distribution from point of landing to the various homes and offices… they are not really in place, so the benefits will not start showing as quickly as planned…we expect the benefits coming out in the next five to six months.’’
There are currently several undersea cable projects in Africa, and Nigeria-owned telecom company Globacom has just announced the completion of its Glo 1 submarine optic fibre cable.
Nwogbo said broadband initiatives like this would increase Internet access and create many opportunities for ICT users in Africa.
“A lot of opportunities will be thrown up by this multiple broadband initiatives, and for the students they can now get to the virtual library and source the relevant, contemporary and up to date materials for their course work, you will see the springing up of small ghost offices and then it will generally be affordable to use the internet like what we have in India, America, Canada and all the rest of them,” said the ICT publisher.