Nigeria: WACS Submarine Cable Ready for Landing, Says MTN


The West African Cable System (WACS), being managed from Europe to Africa by MTN, is set to land on the shores of Nigeria, according to Corporate Services Executive of MTN Nigeria, Mr. Wale Goodluck.

Speaking in an interview in Lagos at the weekend, Goodluck said, "WACS is on stream and a lot of work has been put into it within and outside Nigeria. The sub-sea cable is being laid all the way from Europe, and it is ready to land in Nigeria. We are in the process of finalising some of the necessary regulatory approvals.

We have enjoyed fantastic cooperation from the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerian Ports Authority and a lot of the other agencies who are responsible for the management and use of the territorial waters of Nigeria. We have also enjoyed a lot of cooperation from the Lagos State Government and we envisage that the cable will be landing by the end of first quarter of 2011."

On envisaged problems of territorial landing as experienced by other operators like MainOne and Glo 1 that have already landed, Goodluck said the concern of MTN was primarily about the landing in Nigeria alone and not other West African territories where the cable would first land before arriving in Nigeria.

The WACS cable, according to him, would be landing in several countries along the West African coast and other parts of Africa. In Nigeria, it has been a very comprehensive approval process and it has gone fairly well; we don't envisage any major problem.
Asked if the coming of WACS would be necessary, given that MainOne and Glo 1 cables are already on ground, Goodluck said, "The more the infrastructure we can attract into the country, the better for us. We are definitely very far from capacity glut in Nigeria and the level of adoption of broadband in Nigeria is still at a very primary stage. Where we are going, honestly, I don't think anybody can put a finger on it.

"When the broadband revolution takes off in Nigeria, we are going to see wonderful things. So, we need the capacity and we need to ensure that there is enough bandwidth to carry the traffic that people will require."

He promised that WACS would change the business lifestyle of Nigerians and elevate Nigeria into becoming a broadband global village.