Main One, Seacom and eFive Telecoms have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch a new cable that will link South Africa to Nigeria.
The pan-African fibre ring solution will offer redundancy and additional capacity on East and West African routes. According to Nigerian publication The Vanguard, the new cable section will link Nigeria with South Africa via landing points in Gabon, the DRC, Angola and Namibia.
“Main One’s plan in 2008 included building in two phases with phase one connecting London and Nigeria through a 7,000-kilometre cable. Phase two will connect Nigeria with South Africa once the right partnership with the right level of funding is secured”, said Funke Opeke, Main One CEO.
He said the first phase of the project, which is aimed at connecting Nigeria to London, UK was scheduled to be ready in June 2010.
The company is working with with Seacom and eFive Telecoms, a South African telecommunications company, responsible for raising the necessary funds.
“We hold the view that a system circumventing the entire continent is the best way to attain adequate redundancy whilst offering customers a comprehensive connectivity solution”, said Brian Herlihy, SEACOM CEO.
The project, which will be privately funded and installed on an open access basis by 2012 requires US$400 million to manufacture and install the new cable, which might be acquired by joining forces with Nova Capital Africa, part of New York-based emerging markets investment banking group, Nova Capital Partners.
Main One Cable Company Limited (Main One) is a wholly African-owned submarine cable company offering open access, wholesale broadband capacity in West Africa.
Seacom connects southern and east of Africa, making possible the wholesale of international capacity to local carriers.