The new submarine cable system will address increasing demand for reliable broadband connectivity in Cameroun, and is a key component of the country’s strategic plan to provide internet access to its citizens via a National Broadband Network.
The submarine cable installation, which commenced in June 2015 following a tripartite partnership between MainOne, The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, Cameroun and Huawei Marine Networks, had investment provided by the Cameroun Government. The six-pair, 1,100 kilometer repeater submarine cable system will deliver capacity of up to 12.8Tbps to broadband users in Cameroun and is being lit with 40GB capacity from Day 1. This extension is expected to boost Cameroun’s extremely low fixed broadband penetration, currently estimated to be circa five percent (5%).
Built with branching units for strategic extension of its connectivity into Nigeria’s Escravos in Delta State, Qua Iboe in Akwa Ibom State, and Bonny Island in Rivers State, MainOne has concluded plans for a distribution hub in Port Harcourt, designed to bridge the technology gap between the South-South and the rest of Nigeria.
In his comments, MainOne’s Regional Executive for West Africa, Kazeem Oladepo reiterated the company’s vision for a better connected West Africa: “This is an excellent addition to our network and is added proof of our commitment to expand broadband, improve quality and drive down cost of internet services in West Africa. As part of our strategy to boost West Africa’s economic and commercial development, we will continue to make deliberate and significant investments in connectivity projects that will facilitate increased access to broadband. The proposed extension of our submarine system to the Niger Delta region is particularly important for further development of the oil producing region of Nigeria, and will aid the region’s rapid transition from an oil-dependent economy to a knowledge-focused one.”
“We have seen phenomenal changes across other areas with internet infrastructure such as Lagos, Nigeria where Yaba’s Silicon Hub continues to provide opportunities for jobs, increased investor funding, and enhanced social entrepreneurship which is pushing the frontiers of eCommerce in Nigeria. Nigeria’s South-South region and Cameroun now have the platform to leverage the same quality of access to the Internet to catalyze social, economic and technological development”, Oladepo said.
Speaking on the milestone, David Nkoto Emane, General Manager, Cameroon Telecommunications Corporation (CAMTEL), said, “The NCSCS system enables us to provide users with faster bandwidth connectivity at a significantly lower cost. By providing direct connection to Nigeria, the cable system will also serve to enhance Cameroon’s position as the major bandwidth hub in the region and internationally to Europe and beyond.”