According to the companies, these cables have been damaged through a variety of unspecified activities.The number of fibre-cuts in the industry has seen an increase – from 480 cuts in 2011 to 2,110 in 2013. The situation for the first half of 2014 does not look any better, as operators have already suffered 1,304 cuts. In the first half of the year, MTN recorded 436 cuts covering a total length of 4,336 kilometres.
According to telecom paper.com, the data for 2014 shows that, on average, seven fibre cuts are recorded by operators every day.According to the industry group, network operators spent over GHS 80 million either replacing cables when they were stolen or suffered substantial damage or splicing (joining) them to restore services.According to the telecom operators, the machine used to join the two ends of a damaged cable comes in at an estimated cost of 100,000 USD. Additionally, there is also the cost of lost revenue on the operators resulting mostly from the disruption in mobile connectivity. This is according to Derek Laryea, Research and Communication Manager of the chamber.
Cuts to fibre-optic cables reduce network reliability and affect customer experience on the network, while increasing cost of operations.