The Japan-based, global fiber optic product manufacturer Furukawa announces the start of preparations to build fiber optic cable company in Africa. The company news release did not mention any specific location of the cable factory. The decision to start fiber optic cable manufacturing company in the African continent was based on their global expansion plan.
It was almost one year before that Furukawa announced their decision to start the sales trade office in Istanbul to supervise the businesses in North Africa and the Middle East. Furukawa estimates that the African market is one of the potential markets for fiber optic cables and other products after the emerging markets such as middle east Asia and Latin America. It is a matter of time for Africa to come up. Recent deployment news from African countries indicates that the demand for fiber optic cables and related products are in consistent growth in many countries in the African continent.
Almost all countries in Africa’s eastern and western shores are well connected with submarine fiber optic cables either directly to Europe and Asia or indirectly on their route from Asian countries to European countries. Submarine fiber cable landing points provide required bandwidth that can be updated upon an increase in demand. Africa has been connected with the rest of the world through these submarine cable systems. Most of the networks currently in construction in Africa are long-haul or backbone networks that connect telephone exchanges in a region. Next focus will be on the access part and then to the premise regions. FTTx projects are also reported in many African countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa etc.
It is estimated that African countries import optical fiber cables for domestic projects. In terms of fiber kilometers, this import is equivalent to almost more than 5 million kilometers. Since fiber optic deployment projects have been declared by many countries, demand for optical fiber cables will shoot up that will force African nations to import more cables from Arab countries, China, Korea, Turkey, and Europe etc. It is wise to start a local manufacturing unit in one of the African countries to take advantage of reduced labor cost, speedier delivery, proximity to the end-users and get involved in the market for further diversification.
Furukawa, the owner of the leading fiber optic products and solutions provider OFS, has expanded their Russian fiber optic cable manufacturing facility. Now the company focus to establish new fiber optic cable factory in Africa. Furukawa in the past also had taken initiative to explore potential opportunities worldwide. At a time when Latin America showed signs of growth, Furukawa started its manufacturing facility in Colombia.
Currently, there are around seven fiber optic cable manufacturers in the African continent. Fiber optic cable manufacturers such as cbi electric and M-tec are based in South Africa. Egytech Telecom Cables and UIC El-Sewedy are in Egypt. Catel is a fiber optic cable producer in Algeria. There are two new entrants such as FBR Maroc in Morocco and El-Sewedy cables’ Ethiopian division. There is unconfirmed news that Kenya cable may also diversify to fiber optic cable production. Furukawa’s entry is at the right time.