By Main One
Main One, SEACOM and eFive Telecoms today announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch a project to develop a pan-African fibre ring solution. The solution will entail extending the Main One and SEACOM networks to create a system that offers redundancy and additional capacity on both the east and west routes around Africa.
The solution would require a new cable section to link Nigeria to South Africa via landing points in Gabon, the DRC, Angola and Namibia. The new addition would follow the completion of the first phase of the Main One cable project which will connects Nigeria to London, by June 2010. The SEACOM cable, which became operational in July 2009, currently runs from South Africa along the east coast of Africa and onwards to the rest of the world via India and Europe.
Funke Opeke, Main One CEO, explained: â€œMain Oneâ€™s plan in 2008 included building in two phases with phase one connecting London and Nigeria through a 7,000Km cable. Phase two will connect Nigeria to South Africa once the right partnership with the right level of funding could be secured.
â€œWith the first phase scheduled to be completed on time and on budget in June 2010, we believe that the proposed partnership with SEACOM and eFive telecoms is the best way forward.â€
eFive Telecoms, a South African telecommunications company, will be responsible for the project funding arrangements and plans to join forces with Nova Capital Africa to raise the US$400 million necessary to manufacture and install the new cable. Nova Capital Africa is part of Nova Capital Partners LLC, a New York based emerging markets investment banking group that serves large and middle market companies throughout Africa as well as central and eastern Europe.
Lawrence Mulaudzi, eFive Telecoms Managing Director, commented: â€œHaving looked extensively at the African market and other cables being planned, building the link from Nigeria to South Africa makes the best economical and operational sense in the current landscape. Final For Release 2
â€œDespite the depressed state of global economic markets, we are confident that there is sufficient appetite to fund quality projects in high growth sectors such as African telecommunications.â€
As with the Main One and SEACOM cables, the solution will be privately funded and installed on an open access basis by 2012, giving it an early timing advantage when compared to other planned systems. Actual ownership structure, construction plans and contractual details are yet to be finalised.
â€œWe hold the view that a system circumventing the entire continent is the best way to attain adequate redundancy whilst offering customers with a comprehensive connectivity solution. The MoU announced today shows our determination to find a viable way to extend our system with partners who share our vision for the development of ICT on the continent,â€ said Brian Herlihy, SEACOM CEO.
About Main One
Main One Cable Company Limited (â€˜Main Oneâ€™) is the first submarine cable company offering open access, wholesale broadband capacity in West Africa. Main One is wholly African-owned with a vision to expand the much needed capacity on the African continent and reduce costs of broadband communications across the Continent. This vision is being realized in a 1.92 Tbps and 7000km submarine cable system scheduled for service in June 2010 with initial landing stations in Nigeria, Ghana and Portugal â€“ connecting West Africa to the rest of the world via Portugal and the United Kingdom.
Main One has leveraged experienced and proven world-class professionals in ensuring we get it right first time round and do so on time. We have built a state-of-the-art Network Operations Centre matching the best international standards and comparable to its global counterparts. We also have a strong management and technical team in place to ensure system reliability and constant availability backed by Service Level Agreements. Our systems are monitored 24 x 7 x 365 – every hour, every day, all year round to guarantee our customers minimum down time in service delivery.
SEACOM, which is privately funded and over three quarters African owned, assists communication carriers in southern and east Africa through the sale of wholesale international capacity to global networks via India and Europe. With a capacity of 1.28 Tbps, the 17,000 km undersea fibre optic cable system provides African retail carriers with equal and open access to inexpensive bandwidth, removing the international infrastructure bottleneck and supporting east and southern African FinalÂ economic growth. African countries connected to the SEACOM system to date include South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Djibouti and Ethiopia.
About eFive Telecoms
E-Five Telecoms (Pty) Ltd is a black owned and controlled investment-oriented company that was established in 2009, to lead and facilitate strategic investment opportunities for ourselves, investors and stakeholders, intending to fill in the market need for a professional, customer-focused Telecommunications and/or Electronic, Information and Communication Technology Company.
The company emphasizes products / services and supports delivery, Project Management in ICT Infrastructure environment and Advisory on ICT related issues all of which are undergoing robust economic transformation and providing opportunities for historically disadvantaged individuals, especially youth, women and people with disability to differentiate itself from more price-oriented technologies companies. We are on the brink of penetrating a lucrative ICT / telecommunications market in a rapidly growing industry. The current trend towards an increase in the number ofÂ entrepreneurs and competition amongst existing companies presents an opportunity for eFive Telecoms to penetrate this market.