French telecommunications company, Orange is working with Africa’s MainOne to bring new internet cables to Africa. In the partnership, Orange and MainOne will co-invest in two new cable landing stations in Dakar, Senegal and Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire while the leading West African connectivity and Data services provider, MainOne, will provide an additional capacity through its 7,000 km cable system from Europe to Africa.
MainOne will also provide landing stations in Nigeria, Ghana and Portugal, helping to reinforce the stance of both companies in boosting internet access in Africa. MainOne’s Submarine Cable System links West Africa and Europe; the cables are linked from Seixal in Portugal through Accra in Ghana, down to Lagos state in Nigeria.
MainOne Submarine Cable System is also equipped to link Morocco, Canary Islands, Senegal and Cote D’Ivoire with its newly upgraded capacity of 10 TBPS which first went live in 2010. This earned it a badge as the first private subsea cable to bring open-access broadband capacity to West Africa.
Majority of the countries with the slowest internet speed connections are in Africa. Open Signal in its Global State of Mobile Networks report, show that operators in South Africa offer the fastest Internet speed across Africa at 9.93Mbps. This is, however, 45.2Mbps short of Singapore, which ranks highest on the global broadband speed of 55.13 Megabits per second (Mbps). Ivory Coast is next to South Africa at 7.64Mbps, and Morocco is third with a speed of 7.36Mbps, followed closely by Tunisia with 7.21Mbps. Kenya is fifth in Africa at 6.75Mbps, then Ghana stands at 4.81Mbps and Nigeria at 4.13Mbps. Leading the list from the rear is Gabon 0.41Mbps, Burkina Faso 0.49Mbps, Democratic Republic of Congo 0.55Mbps, Somalia 0.62Mbps, and Congo at 0.72Mbps.
With the MainOne–Orange partnership, many West African countries are expected to experience better connectivity, thanks to an improved and direct access to high-speed broadband services, lower prices and access to the new services which the two companies are offering.
According to Orange’s Middle East and Africa’s Chief Executive Officer, Alioune Ndiaye ” The development of new digital services in Africa has fostered huge social and economic developments over the past few years. As barriers to access continue to fall with improved networks and more affordable equipment, Orange is seeking to position itself as an important partner in the continent’s digital transformation.”