Trio mull pan-African fibre ring

26 Apr 2010

Main One, SEACOM and eFive Telecoms have announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch a project to develop a pan-African fibre ring. The agreement will entail extending the Main One and SEACOM networks to create a system that offers redundancy and additional capacity on both the east and west routes around Africa. The solution would require a new cable section to link Nigeria to South Africa via landing points in Gabon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and Namibia. The new addition would follow the completion of the first phase of the Main One cable project which will connect Nigeria to London by June 2010. The SEACOM cable, which became operational in July last year, currently runs from South Africa along the east coast of Africa and onwards to the rest of the world via India and Europe. Funke Opeke, Main One CEO, explained: ‘Main One’s plan in 2008 included building in two phases with phase one connecting London and Nigeria through a 7,000km cable. Phase two will connect Nigeria to South Africa once the right partnership with the right level of funding could be secured. With the first phase scheduled to be completed on time and on budget in June 2010, we believe that the proposed partnership with SEACOM and eFive telecoms is the best way forward.’ eFive Telecoms, a South African telecoms company, will be responsible for the project funding arrangements and plans to join forces with Nova Capital Africa to raise the USD400 million necessary to manufacture and install the new cable.