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TE SubCom, MainOne sign major undersea communications deal to extend submarine cable system to francophone Africa Updated for 2021

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Updated: February 25, 2021


TE SubCom, a TE Connectivity Ltd company and an industry pioneer in undersea communications technology, on Thursday, announced it had secured a contract from leading connectivity and data center solutions provider, MainOne, to extend its active submarine cable system into West Africa’s francophone region.

The MainOne Submarine Cable System, which links West Africa with Europe is expected to bring ultra-fast broadband in the region. It runs from Seixal in Portugal to Lagos in Nigeria. The system first went live in July 2010, becoming the first privately-owned subsea cable to bring open-access broadband capacity in West Africa.

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The new undersea deal would add two additional branches connecting Senegal (Dakar) and Cote D’Ivoire (Abidjan).

These new branches will connect to MainOne’s 7,000 km cable system, which extends from Portugal to Nigeria, and will inject new technology that upgrades the system to a potential capacity of 10TBps by November 2019 when the subsea system becomes operational.

With the new development, MainOne will have landing points in five markets – Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire and Portugal, in addition to Cameroon.

A cluster of francophone countries in West Africa that are experiencing an increased demand for advanced telecom services including Burkina Faso, Mali, and Mauritania will also benefit from these extensions into Cote D’Ivoire and Senegal.

“MainOne continues to lead the current digital transformation of the region by ushering in affordable connectivity to drive economic development,” Kazeem Oladepo, MainOne’s regional executive for West Africa, was quoted as saying in a statement sent to TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington DC.

“Our objective remains focused on bridging the digital divide between West Africa and the rest of the world. We have, and will continue to, invest significantly in projects to accelerate broadband access to help local businesses address the challenges they face procuring capacity at competitive rates.

“This extension of our subsea cable to Senegal and Cote D’Ivoire will further open up their international bandwidth markets, drive down costs and ultimately boost the economic and commercial development of the region,” Oladepo added.

According to Debbie Brask, vice president, project management of TE SubCom, “these MainOne enhancements bring two additional connectivity options to this rapidly growing region”

“MainOne has also selected SubCom’s industry leading WSS ROADM technology to achieve dynamic capacity management in fulfilling the region’s burgeoning demand,” Brask added.

The new branches will be equipped with TE SubCom’s WSS ROADM technology that allows MainOne and its partners to match the capacity in each branch to the market need, thus optimizing cable utilization.

SubCom will also light the new branches with Ciena’s transmission equipment, which enables this flexibility and higher capacity. It is also an industry first for the deployment of undersea spectrum-sharing in Africa.

The new deals and new projects would be carried out by global companies. Ciena is a network strategy and technology company listed on the New York Stock Exchange while TE Connectivity Ltd. is a $13 billion global technology and manufacturing leader creating a safer, sustainable, productive, and connected future.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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