Ghana’s telecommunication industry is set to become one of the most competitive in the world as Globacom, Nigeria’s leading telecommunication provider’s undersea fibre optic cable landed in Accra yesterday, Tuesday, 30th September, 2009.
The arrival of the fibre optic cable means Ghana will now have high speed internet service, make telecom services faster and more reliable, Speaking at a ceremony to officially mark the landing of the cable at the beach behind the Castle at Osu by mid-day yesterday, Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Communications, said the arrival marked an important milestone in the country’s telecommunications landscape as it sought to improve its communications infrastructure.
“In Ghana, currently the fibre optic capacity is 120 gigabits per second. With the facility to be provided by Glo, the current capacity will increase to 640 gigabits per second and an ultimate capacity of 2.5 terabits per second thus increasing up time reliability to 99.9 per cent,” he said.
The landing of the submarine cable in Ghana makes Globacom the first single operator to successfully link submarine cable from the United Kingdom to Nigeria and Ghana, a project designed to crash telecom prices and make bandwidth abundantly available.
“The event is historical because it is the first time that a single company has embarked on such a project on the continent.”
Mr. Iddrisu said the 9,000 kilometer long cable, expected to be in operation soon, would deliver transmission capacity that would provide quality telecom services to Ghanaians and other African countries.
“This robust connectivity facility should be capable of facility should be capable of facilitating world class, long distance voice, video and data communications services for Ghana and Glo deserves commendations for this investment which is of immense economic value,” he said. The minister said currently broad band penetration in the country was less than five per cent, noting that, did no augur well for a country striving to be the hub of Information Communications Technology in the sub-region.
“Increased broadband penetration will undoubtedly improve and place Ghana in a competitive advantage for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Information Technology Enabled Services,” he said.
To ensure fairness in the country’s telecom industry the Minister asked the National Communication Authority (NCA) to develop and publish a regulatory policy on international connectivity to eliminate anti-competitive practices and behaviours such as frustration of competition by operators who want to dominate the market. That, process, he said should lead to the development of a plan, in collaboration with all sector players, to bring down price wholesale international connectivity prices.
Mr. Paddy Adenuga, Group Chief Executive Officer of Globacom, said the project would completely transform the country’s telecom industry. He said the landing of the fibre optic undersea cable by the company was a major achievement as the trend in the global telecommunication industry was for a consortium of companies or nations to combine resources to build submarine cables. The project, he said, would help to minimize the difficulties of switching traffic between African countries and eliminate the inconveniences and added cost of first routing traffic to Europe.
Globacom secured licence in June, last year, to operate as Ghana’s sixth mobile communication operator and are expected to commence operation before the end of the year.
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