West Africa gets new cable option

Dylan Bushell-Embling
05 Jul 2010

The $240 million (€191 million) Main One Africa to Europe subsea cable launched ahead of schedule last week, adding tenfold to the capacity of West Africa.

The 7,000km cable linking West Africa with Europe has landing stations in Nigeria and Ghana plus branching units in Morocco, Canary Islands, Senegal and the Ivory Coast.

At 1,920Gbps-worth of capacity, it has increased capacity in the West African region by more than ten times, according to cable operators Main One Cable Company.

The company had not been expecting to launch the cable until mid-July, managing director Funke Opeke toldallAfrica.com just three weeks ago.

Chairman Fola Adeola says the cable is the first privately-held submarine cable in the region to be entirely African-owned.

“The [launch] proves that much good can be done by Africans for Africans,” Adeola said, adding that the company hoped to enable affordable internet access for the average African.

Countries such as Nigeria have historically relied on just one cable route – the South Atlantic Terminal 3 - for their connectivity needs, Reuterssaid.

The area is also underserved by satellite coverage – Main One boasted that its cable can carry more than 20 times entire satellite capacity of Sub-Saharan Africa.

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