Dolphin Telecoms to Berth N109.2bn ACE Submarine Cable in Nigeria

20 Sep 2013

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Emma Okonji

Nigeria will in the next quarter witness another landing of submarine cable to complement the existing submarine cables in the country, such Main One Cable, Glo 1 Cable and the MTN West African Cable System (WACS).

Dolphin Telecoms, a global communications carrier and operator of the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable system in West Africa, announced Wednesday that it would land the $700 million (N109.2 billion) submarine cable in Nigeria in the fourth quarter of this year.

The company made the announcement on the second day of the fourth NigeriaCom, an Information and Communications Technology conference and exhibition, holding in Lagos.

The ACE cable, initiated by France Télécom-Orange and administered by a consortium of 16 operators, will link Europe to the West Coast of Africa through a high level connectivity.

The cable system uses the most advanced high-speed broadband fiber optic technology and is a vector of social development and economic growth in Africa, reducing the digital divide.

Dolphin Telecoms is investing over $70million in the ACE submarine cable, and the cable has full landing rights in Accra, Dakar, Lagos, Gambia and Senegal, and part of special purpose vehicles (SPVs) in Mauritania and Guinea Conakry, covering 80 per cent of West African market. ACE will pass through UK, France, Portugal, Canary Islands, and have touch points in 21 African countries.

Managing Director of Dolphin Telecoms, Mr. Abdel Mageid Elzain, who made the announcement in Lagos, said “With our extensive global network and strong reliability, Dolphin Telecoms aims to be the driving force for the business community of West Africa functioning as a catalyst in extending global reach, high quality connectivity and unsurpassed levels of reliability and uptime”.

The Chief Commercial Officer, Dolphin Telecoms, Mr. Francis Okoh, said ACE submarine cable would bring seamless connectivity to Africa with massive bandwidth to ensure affordable internet access to the continent. Dolphin Telecoms is the second largest investor in ACE submarine cable system. It will operate only in the wholesale market.
According to Okoh, “Dolphin Telecoms has built a massive data centre in Agbara, Ogun State, completed its landing station in Lagos and is awaiting the landing of the ACE cable in the country, which would complement other operators in the market like Glo 1, Main One Cable, WACS and SAT3 cables.”

He said “We are partnering telecoms operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who will take the bandwidth to the retail market. We have built one of the largest data centres in Africa. We want to do business the way business should be done. In terms of focus, we know what we want to do and we will redefine wholesale business. Our model is backend support not building base stations.”

Dolphine has partnered Telecom Italia, Spaco Italia, Medallion Communications, Venema Advies Nigeria, Comsys Ghana, Expressor Telecommunications Group, Bluecloud, Ghana and Afcom, Sierra Leone among many others for collocation, supply of internet protocol (IP), building of data centre, capacity and loop agreement and others.

Dolphin Telecoms is a joint venture between Expresso Telecoms Group and Haggar Trading UAE, specialised in wholesale Internet Bandwidth for Carriers, ISPs and Enterprise customers.
Members of the ACE consortium  include France Telecoms, Expresso Telecoms Group, Benin Telecoms, Cote d’Ivoire Telecoms, Companhia Santomense de Telecomunicacoes, Gamtel, International Mauritania Telecoms, Cable Consortium of Liberi, Office Congolals des Postes et Telecommunications, Orange Cameroun, Orange Guinea, Orange Mali, Orange Niger, Portugal Telecoms, the Gabonese Republic, the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone Cable, Sonatel and Sotelgui.

Providing more details of the planned landing of ACE submarine cable in Igbefon in Lekki, Elzain said, “We are waiting for electronic equipment which is going to arrive at the 23rd of this month and we will start the installation and we hope to complete the installation by the end of October and in November, 2013, we will be able to switch on the circuit and start preliminary testing of the cable.”

“As I said, the coming of ACE into Nigeria is set to increase broadband penetration in the West African countries and in Nigeria. In spite of the huge capacity of bandwidth that is available in the country, we are still faced with the challenges of moving the capacity to the hinterlands, and Dolphin Telecoms will address that with the ACE submarine cable,” Elzain said.

Tags: Business, Nigeria, Featured, Telecoms, Submarine Cable

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