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West Africa: Main One Submarine Cable Project Inches Near Completion

The Main One Cable Company has announced the commencement of the final laying of its high capacity fibre optic cable from Seixal, Portugal, through the coast of West Africa to Ghana, and Nigeria.

The cable, which goes live in June 2010, is bringing the much-expected international capacity into a region whose explosive growth in tele-density in recent years has been blighted by sub-optimal global connectivity.
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"We are pleased to achieve this major milestone within project timeline," said Fola Adeola, Chairman of Main One Cable Company. "We remain focused on delivering the project on schedule." Main One, in November 2009, successfully completed the installation of the shore ends of the cable in Lagos, Nigeria, Accra, Ghana, and Seixal, Portugal.

The commencement of the end-to-end laying of the full stretch of the fiber optic from Portugal, signposts the final stages of the ambitious project. "Now that the 7,000 kilometre trunk of the cable is being installed, we are pleased that our efforts over the last 18 months are coming to fruition," said Funke Opeke, Main One CEO.

The Main One Cable Company is wholly owned by African investors - African Finance Corporation, Nigeria; Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund, South Africa; FBN Capital, Nigeria; Skye Bank, Nigeria and Main Street Technologies, Nigeria, which is the project sponsor.

In addition to the submarine operations, Main One is building two landing stations in Accra and Lagos which will be complete next month. Equipment installation and end-to-end testing of the cable system will then follow, prior to service launch in June.

Main One will provide open access to 1.92 Terabits per second of capacity to the West African region at prices less than 50 percent of current wholesale capacity prices.

The international capacity that Main One is bringing into the West African sub-region will consolidate the explosive growth of telecommunications in the sub-region in recent years. In addition to providing a major boost to Internet access, Main One will help to considerably minimise the difficulties of switching traffic between African countries and eliminate the inconveniences and added costs of first routing traffic to Europe.

Source: The Ghanaian Chronicle

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