Nigerian company boosts Cameroon’s position as major bandwidth hub in central Africa

Internet connectivity is set to further improve in Cameroon as MainOne, a leading telecoms and network services provider in West Africa, last month launched the high capacity Nigerian-Cameroon Submarine Cable System (NCSCS) connecting Lagos, Nigeria and Kribi, Cameroon.

“The NCSCS system enables us to provide users with faster bandwidth connectivity at a significantly lower cost. By providing direct connection to Nigeria, the cable system will also serve to enhance Cameroon’s position as the major bandwidth hub in the region and internationally to Europe and beyond,” David Nkoto Emane, General Manager, Cameroon Telecommunications Corporation (CAMTEL), said.

The new submarine cable system will address increasing demand for reliable broadband connectivity in Cameroon, and is a key component of the country’s strategic plan to provide internet access to its citizens via a National Broadband Network, a statement by MainOne noted.

The submarine cable installation — a six-pair, 1,100 kilometer repeater — was made possible by a partnership between MainOne, The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, Cameroon and Huawei Marine Networks, with investment provided by the Cameroonian Government.

The six-pair, 1,100 kilometer repeater submarine cable system will deliver capacity of up to 12.8Tbps to broadband users in Cameroon and is being lit with 40GB capacity from Day 1. This extension is expected to boost Cameroon’s extremely low fixed broadband penetration, currently estimated to be circa five percent (5%).

“This is an excellent addition to our network and is added proof of our commitment to expand broadband, improve quality and drive down cost of internet services in West Africa,” MainOne’s Regional Executive for West Africa, Kazeem Oladepo said. “As part of our strategy to boost West Africa’s economic and commercial development, we will continue to make deliberate and significant investments in connectivity projects that will facilitate increased access to broadband.”

The Nigerian company is also extending its submarine system to the Niger Delta region of Africa’s largest economy, a move it sees as very important for further development of the oil producing region of Nigeria, and will aid the region’s rapid transition from an oil-dependent economy to a knowledge-focused one.”

“We have seen phenomenal changes across other areas with internet infrastructure such as Lagos, Nigeria where Yaba’s Silicon Hub continues to provide opportunities for jobs, increased investor funding, and enhanced social entrepreneurship which is pushing the frontiers of eCommerce in Nigeria. Nigeria’s South-South region and Cameroon now have the platform to leverage the same quality of access to the Internet to catalyze social, economic and technological development”, Oladepo said.

As at 2011, only 1006 fixed broadband subscriptions were recorded in Cameroon. The country also had 1.1 million internet users in 2012. Significant growth has been recorded ever since.