Globacom to Roll out Glo2 Submarine Cable in 18 Months

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Emma Okonji
Having exhausted the capacity of its Glo 1 submarine cable, Globacom on Tuesday signed a landmark contract with Huawei Technologies to build a second multi-billion naira optic fibre submarine cable from Lagos to the Southern part of Nigeria.

The new fibre optic submarine cable, known as Glo2, which is expected to be completed in the next 18 months, will have 12 Terabit capacity per second, spanning 850kilometres, providing last-mile connectivity to businesses and oil companies in the Southern part of the country and beyond.

Nigeria has several submarine cable berthed at the shores of the country, but none has the capacity to provide broadband connectivity service in the hinterlands where broadband service is in high demand. The situation has compelled telecoms subscribers to call for last-mile connectivity that could cushion the effect of the high cost of broadband bandwidth at the hinterlands as well as the price differential in bandwidth between Lagos and the hinterlands. The Glo 2 optic fibre submarine cable is expected to address the challenges when completed.

The plan for the Glo 2 project was unveiled at a contract-signing ceremony between the national operator, Globacom, and global telecom solutions vendors, Huawei, at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, yesterday.
Giving details of the project at the event, Globacom’s Regional Director, Technical, Mr. Sanjib Roy, said the submarine cable would be built along the Nigerian coast from Alpha Beach in Lagos, where Glo 1 landing station is located, to the Southern part of Nigeria. The facility will enable ultra high capacity connection to South-south region and provide capacity to offshore oil platforms and the communities.

He stated that the Glo 2 project would boost telecommunications service delivery in the country by providing economic as well as social empowerment of the communities in oil producing regions.

It will also provide high speed internet connectivity as well as digitalise oil platforms
to improve productivity, upload data to remote oil platforms at the speed of light.
“Glo2 will be the first submarine cable in Nigeria to land outside Lagos as
the five existing submarine cables only landed in Lagos. Glo 2 will have capacity of 12 Terabit per second and will provide ultra-high speed connection to oil platforms and communities to empower data coverage and support enterprise market growth in this part of Nigeria,” Roy said.

The facility, he added, would be the first to provide dedicated  submarine optical fiber to oil platforms to support the growth of Nigerian economy and allow oil communities to reduce their operational expenditure.
“It is also designed for further expansion southwards to Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Angola among others,” he added.

According to Roy, Glo2 would enable high capacity connections between oil companies’ offices onshore and their offshore locations.
“The new submarine cable will be approximately 850 kilometres long and will be named Glo2.  The cable will be integrated to Globacom’s existing terrestrial Backbone Network to provide additional service redundancy, especially Abuja and other parts of the country, he said.

He also disclosed that the cable would contain three fiber pairs, with the first pair connecting Lagos directly to Southern part of Nigeria with terrestrial extension to other parts of the country for redundancy and maintenance purposes. The second will be equipped with eight switchable Branching Units (BUs), which will deliver high capacity to offshore oil stations and communities connected directly to BUs, while the third pair will be equipped with two switchable Branching Units to deliver high capacity to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.

Glo2 complements the Glo 1 international submarine cable built by Globacom in 2010. It is the only international submarine cable in Nigeria managed end to end, from Lagos to London, by one company and currently provides sufficient bandwidth for the West Africa sub-region.
Managing Director of Huawei Nigeria, Mr. Li Beifang, said: “Huawei is proud to partner with Globacom to build a revolutionary submarine cable using innovative and leading technology. We believe the cable would bring a new era of digitalisation to the Nigerian economy