Main Street Technologies has awarded a turnkey supply contract for the Main One Cable System to Tyco Telecommunications.
The cable system will span 14,000 km and provide additional capacity for international and Internet connectivity to countries between Portugal and South Africa on the west coast of Africa.
The submarine cable project is designed in two phases, both of which are scheduled for completion in May 2010. The dual fiber pair, 1.28-Tbit/sec, DWDM project will connect Nigeria, Ghana, and Portugal in Phase 1 with onward connectivity through Portugal to Europe, Asia, and the Americas; and connectivity extending to Angola and South Africa in the second phase of the project.
Main One will provide international capacity into a region that has experienced explosive growth in tele-density in recent years, but which remains constrained with respect to access to international cable capacity for global connectivity.
The Main One Cable system will provide open access to regional telecom operators and Internet service providers at rates that are less than 50% of current international bandwidth prices in the region available via SAT3 or satellite service providers, according to the project's organizers. Main Street says it will encourage local content development via skills transfer of critical networking technologies and job creation with the location of the network operational center (NOC) for the entire system in Nigeria.
The system will ease the difficulties and reduce the costs of switching traffic between African countries without the need to go through Europe, as well as provide broadband capacity to expand Internet access in the sub-Saharan region, which currently stands at less than five percent.
Main Street Technologies CEO Funke Opeke stated, "The execution of this contract for us with Tyco Telecommunications is quite timely given the difficulties faced by telecom operators and businesses in Nigeria due to the recently ended strike at incumbent operator NITEL, which shut down SAT3, the country's only existing cable access. It demonstrates clearly that African countries such as Nigeria require additional cable capacity and diversity other than SAT3 in order to sustain the growth of their economies and effectively participate in global commerce."