Three Nigerian telecoms operators have subscribed to Main One Cable Company’s high capacity fibre-optic cable system, which was launched commercially earlier this week linking West Africa to Europe, Reuters reports. The local unit of UAE-based Etisalat, South Africa’s MTN and Starcomms of Nigeria are among the first operators to sign up for broadband services from the 7,200km fibre-optic cable, which has landing stations in Nigeria and Ghana with branching units in Morocco, Canary Islands, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire.
Main One said the cable system will deliver 1.92Tbps of much-needed international capacity into West Africa – more than ten times what is currently available from Nigeria’s sole existing undersea cable South Atlantic Terminal (SAT-3) – and will enable service providers to offer cheaper and more reliable internet access. Steven Evans, chief executive of Etisalat Nigeria, told Reuters his firm was testing the cable and would inaugurate services over it within a day or two: ‘We are working very hard at the moment to go live on the network, hopefully within the next 24-48 hours ... so that we will be one of the first people to be having broadband on the main network in Nigeria,’ he stated. Wholly African-owned, the Main One cable is the first privately-owned submarine cable system in West Africa.