THE first privately constructed submarine cable transmission link between Nigeria and the rest of the global community arrived in Lagos at the weekend.
Known and styled as Glo 1 undersea cable, the project owned by Globacom Limited was constructed at a cost of $800 million.
It links telecommunications services, including voice, data, broadband Internet between Nigeria and the rest part of the world.
It covers 9,800 kilometres sea route between Nigeria and other parts of the global community.
It was constructed by Alcatel-Lucent Technologies of France and it is believed to be first of its kind in terms of size and funding by any private company in the world.
Glo 1 submarine cable is the second to debut in Nigeria after the South Atlantic (SAT-3) submarine cable owned by Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) and 33 other national carriers and multilateral organisations in Africa and elsewhere.
The cable, with a current capacity of 640 gigabytes per second and final capacity of 2.5 terabits per second, has landing points in UK, Portugal, Ghana and C™te d’Ivoire.
The contract was awarded two years ago to Alcatel Lucent to bridge the much-talked about digital divide and enhance connectivity and bandwidth capacity needs of Nigerians, Executive Director of Globacom, Mr. Adewale Sangowawa, said at the commissioning at the weekend.
“This is the first individually owned submarine cable network in the world and Globacom is re-writing history,” Sangowawa explained at the seaside ceremony at the weekend.
Glo 1 submarine cable connects West Africa to the world via a United Kingdom (UK) port, and has landing points in Lagos and Bonny in Nigeria, Bude, in London and Lisbon in Portugal.
Besides these, it also deploys 16 branching units to connect the West Africa sub-region particularly in Cotonou, (Benin Republic), Accra, (Ghana) and other nations within the region where Glo Mobile operates.
Sangowawa explained that Glo 1 will complement SAT-3 optic fibre cable and fulfil the present and rapidly increasing high data requirement in the West African sub-region.
Alcatel Lucent will provide one optical SubMarine Cable Systems (STM-64) network capacity from the U.K. to New York to link Nigeria to the United States (USA) for crystal clear voice calls and high speed data/Internet transmission services.
Glo 1 is the first such project embarked upon by any single organisation in the world. The practice all over the world is for organisations or countries to team up and build such a facility.
The cable, which is of the 32 STM 64 type, has virtual infinite capacity and therefore offers sufficient capacity for traffic for the Globacom’s mobile, fixed and Internet telecommunication services.
It offers 99.9 per cent up time reliability, world-class long distance voice, video and high-speed data communication services to the African customer.
Glo 1 caters for long-term bandwidth requirements for voice and data transmission in the West Africa sub-region. Currently, West African countries have a high dependability on satellite-based operators for fulfilling their bandwidth requirements. At present, bandwidth providers are retailing bandwidth they procure in bulk, which invariably is very expensive. Glo 1 fills this vacuum and will narrow the digital divide between Nigeria/Africa and the rest of the world.
It provides a cost-effective voice, data, video and e-commerce services across Africa, Europe and rest of the world. It will also carry traffic for other operators that would lease the service.
The Glo 1 project would reshape the face of telecommunications in Nigeria by offering unparalleled services to Nigerians, Sangowawa said.
It further enhances Nigeria’s capacity to provide telephone hubbing services for the rest of the world.
Glo 1 enables Globacom to have a clear distinction in providing quality services through multiple and high quality direct links to various countries across the globe and allows it to interconnect with several international and local networks and leading traffic carriers in the world.
Landing points will also be extended to other West Africa countries soon. There will be a total of 18 branching units along the route upon completion of the project, Sangowawa added.
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