Chinese Firms to Lay US$60m Fibre Optic Cable in Kenya

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Three companies have been awarded tenders to construct the National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI) terrestrial. Two companies are Chinese (Huawei and ZTE) and another French (Sagem). The companues are currently doing a survey to determine the route which the cable will follow and also determine how long it will take to link the respective towns they are supposed to cover. It is not yet clear how the network will be run.

The laying of US$60 million cable has been split in three sections namely Western Kenya, Coast and North Eastern region and Central region which will be handled by each of the three companies.

Sagem is expected to do the laying of cable in Coast and Northern part of the country, Huawei will handle Nairobi and central area while ZTE will handle Western Kenya which runs from the Tanzania boarder post of Namanga to Lokichoggio.

According to the permanent secretary Ministry of Information Dr Bitange Ndemo laying of the cable will take over six months. NOFBI will enable deployment of digital arteries to reach the remotest areas in the country.

The government led submarine optic fibre cable TEAMs is expected to land in the port of Mombasa by first quarter of 2008.

Business Daily