MainOne Fibre Optic Cable Launched
The MainOne fibre cable was launched last week ahead of the rival Glo One cable which has not yet set a launch date.It cost about $240 million (N36 billion) and Chairman of the of the company, Fola Adeola, said the submarine cables were laid from Portugal to Lagos covering a distance of about 7,200 kilometres. Adeola, who is the former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, added that the firm currently has connection points in London, South Africa, Bangalore and Tenerife.
The MainOne chairman acknowledged that a major difficulty was encountered in executing the project expected to catalyse a major change in Africa's information and communication, especially while laying the sub-sea cables. According to him, in some countries, the firm was required to sign papers and pay for right of way, while others required the company to sign an undertaking not to damage subsea cables already in place in the course of laying its own.
Also speaking at the launch, MainOne Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Funke Okpeke, said the technology "will be transmitting at a speed of 4.92 terabytes about five terabytes. What has been made available is faster than the 40 gigabytes that is available in Europe." Okpeke explained that the cable had landing points in Ghana and Nigeria and branching units that will allow it to serve Morocco, Canary Islands, Senegal and Ivory Coast.
In his address, Acting Vice Chairman Nigeria Communications Commissions (NCC), Dr. Bahire Gwandu, warned them not to be complacent, adding that bigger ones with higher capacity will soon be around the corner.
Gwandu said that because the NCC's desperation for a fibre optic cable to rollout in the country forced it to slash the firm's license to N25 million and called on the firm to reciprocate the gesture by making sure that Nigerians have access to the service at the cheapest available rate.
Gwandu called on Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) to reduce cost per kilometre on right of way for telecommunications companies so that the services would come to Nigerians at a cheaper rate. The NCC helmsman explained that telecommunications companies "are crying wolf that the state government charges $60 per kilometre of right of way."
Speaking on the occasion, Fashola, who commended the company, called on telecoms firms to always inform the state ahead of time instead of destroying existing infrastructures just to lay cables.