African Development Bank will Fund West African Undersea Fiber Optic Cable System


The African Development Bank Group will give US dollar 66 million to Main One cable company to develop the submarine fiber optic cable link along the west African coast. The total fiber optic project cost is estimated to be US dollar 240 million.

Market analysis reports foresee some kind of troubles with the infrastructure developments that includes fiber optic network projects too. Last week there was a report of Excelcomindo walking out of the consortium that was formed for building the Palapa ring project in Indonesia. The reason was financial trouble, a factor which is growing concern with many of the telecom operators in different regions of the world. It is not a surprise if banks, the main financial supporter for infrastructure investments decline to fund for the projects in this crisis.

Some of the fiber optic projects might be immune to the economic slowdown, but not necessarily be the same with all the projects. It is good news heard from African Development Bank Group that its Board of Directors approved funding of Main One Cable Company.

Main One Cable Company has been engaged in developing undersea fiber optic cable along the Western coast of Africa, connecting many of the African countries. The fiber optic network is considered to be a major milestone in the history of telecommunication in Africa. Developing telecom infrastructure in Africa has been a challenge for many years due to the diverse nature of geography and politics.

The length of fiber optic cable required for the submarine link is approximately 7,000 kilometers that will stretch between Seixal in Portugal, Accra in Ghana and Lagos in Nigeria. The submarine fiber optic link system is based on trunk and branch topology that includes branching units to the Canary Islands, Morocco, Senegal, and Cote d’Ivoire.
The West African submarine fiber optic cable system is supposed to solve to a good extent the bandwidth requirements in the region. This fiber optic cable will be connected to the national backbone at respective countries. The total bandwidth available with the fiber optic system will be 1.92 terabits. This bandwidth will be leased to telecom operators and service providers.

This leasing will encourage healthy competition among service providers in the region and will offer attractive pricing which will help to enhance the customer base. The West Coast Fiber optic cable system has already been noted by MST and they will secure long-term contracts with many largest operators in Nigeria and Ghana.

The investment by Main One cable system and African development Bank comes at the right time that will solve the constraints African telecommunication market and will act as a catalyst to accelerate the growth in the bandwidth problem-solving infrastructure developments. Main One is a great attempt and must be appreciated.

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