Funke Opeke, CEO, MainOne Cable Company
Chief Executive Officer of MainOne Cable Company, Mrs. Funke Opeke, said the cable company decided to consider Nigeria and Ghana for its first landing stations among other coastal countries because of the economic viability and business similarities of both countries.
Opeke who spoke to THISDAY shortly after a business forum organised by the cable company for its Nigerian and Ghanaian business partners in Lagos recently, revealed that the landing of its 7,000 km submarine cable from Portugal to Ghana through Nigeria, was strategic.
According to her, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for West Africa was 6.21 per cent in 2011, which was the highest among African Regional Economic Communities (REC), and that the growth rate for the entire West African countries was largely driven by economic activities from Nigeria and Ghana. “The West African population in 2006 was 251.6 million and Nigeria and Ghana alone constituted over 70 per cent of the entire population, which signifies that both countries have attractive business environment. For these reasons, MainOne decided to identify with both countries to grow its presence in the countries for the first phase of its submarine cable project,” Opeke said.
On the similarities of both countries, Opeke said “they have common language, the English Language; common culture; and similar economic activities, which makes it a lot easier to transact business within and across both countries.”
Addressing cost differentiation in bandwidth between 2010 when it launched commercial service and 2012, Opeke said before 2010, Nigerians were begging for capacity from Sat-3 cable at high cost, but that between 2010 and 2012, after MainOne Cable launched its services, the wholesale price of bandwidth was reduced from $2,000/megabyte to $500/megabyte, as a result of increased capacity from MainOne. She said MainOne had since 2010, invested in fibre and microwave radio to provide more capacities and broadband connectivity.
She said the desire of the company “is to increase broadband penetration in West Africa.” Our services include broadband connectivity for telecoms conferencing, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), with core products designed to meet customer needs, she said, adding that MainOne has the capacity to provide internet services in West Africa countries, capacities for regional exchanges, and functions in collocation of data centre space, and managed services.
She noted that, the cable company had since 2010, serviced its customers without hitches from cable cuts because of the technology infused into the cable business, to avoid cable cut and possible disconnection that could result from ocean surge.
In his presentation, MainOne Country Manager for Ghana, Mr. Joseph Odoi, said “MainOne has the capacities to offer organisations and individuals at relatively reduced prices.”
The cable company, she said, had positioned itself to better serve its existing and expectant customers in Nigeria and Ghana.
Giving his experiences and success story in using MainOne services, Executive Director, e-Process International, Ecobank, Mr. Tunji Alabi, said “the bank has been using the services of MainOne for its operations without issues.” Ecobank, he said has presence in 35 countries, among which 32 are in Africa.
He however challenged the cable company to consider playing in the last-mile market space, by providing capacity from the coastal territories to the hinterlands for connectivity to homes, offices, business centres, among others.