By Prince Osuagwu
FOR the Ghanaian gov ernment, the landing of Globacomâ€™s multi-million-dollar international submarine optic fibre cable in Accra, Ghana, last week Tuesday, has marked the beginning of a new dawn in the continentâ€™s telecommunications industry.
The country believes that by the time it explores the opportunities inherent in the submarine cable, Ghana would no longer be a pushover in the African telecommunications business.
Ghanaâ€™s Communications Minister, Haruna Iddrisu, described the development as an added impetus for improved communication in Ghana in particular and Africa in general.
He said, â€œGlo 1 marks an important milestone in the telecoms landscape of Ghana in our quest to improve upon the delivery of improved communications infrastructure and services to enhance efficient and affordable data services and management,â€.
He congratulated Globacom for landing Glo 1 in Ghana and urged the company to seize the moment to drastically reduce the wholesale international gateway connectivity prize which currently hovers around $4,500 for an E1 in Ghana.
Receiving the cable at the landing port in Ghana, an excited Iddrisu, joined with Globacomâ€™s Group Executive Director, Mr. Paddy Adenuga, and the Director General of National Communications Authority of Ghana, Bernard A. ForsonÂ Jr. to accept the broadband gift from Alcatel-Lucent officials at exactly 1.15 p.m. at the Landing Station in Osu Ice Company Beach, Accra.
At receiving the cable, the minister who could not hide his joy, said that â€œGlo 1 will facilitate the expansion of market opportunities for broadband service providers and thereby help reduce transaction cost for broadband services,â€ .
For him, the Ghanaian governmentâ€™s happiness was that the cable will facilitate world class, long distance voice, video and data communications services for Ghana, adding that â€œGlo deserves commendation for this investment which is of immense economic valueâ€.
The landing of the Glo 1 cable in Accra comes three weeks after it first berthed in Lagos, Nigeria. The cable had landed at Alpha Beach, Lekki, Lagos,on September 5. The landing of Glo 1 in Ghana will also boost the preparation for the nationwide launch of Glo Mobile Ghana.The 9,800km-long cable was laid from United Kingdom through Mauritania, Morocco and 16 West African countries with dedicated extension to New York, United States.
In his remarks at the event, Mr. Adenuga said Glo 1 cable will deliver transmission capacity that will radically change Africaâ€™s economic landscape by providing unprecedented high speed internet services and make telecom services much faster, more reliable and cheaper for consumers.
He noted that the landing of Glo 1 in Ghana will also boost the preparation for the nationwide launch of Glo Mobile Ghana. He said Glo-1â€™s current and ultimate capacity is enough to cater to the required broadband capacity of Ghana and the rest of the continent for at least the next 15 to 20 years.Glo 1 has a current capacity of 640Gigabyte per second and an ultimate capacity of 2.5 Terabyte per second.
Adenuga said Glo 1 has 99.9% up time reliability, world-class long distance voice, video and data communication services for African customers, adding that the cable will support the large bandwidth requirements of direct consumers and other service providers. He said the cable will free up resources for other forms of investments which governments and business developments need through broad market coverage at high capacity and at a fraction of cost and time.Glo 1 will also facilitate foreign investment and employment opportunities in Ghana and the African region, he stated.
â€œThe facility will aid on-line diagnosis and video conferencing during surgery and research, while distance learning will be made easy by enabling the participation of a class of students and lecturers from different parts of the world in real time,â€ he explained.
The Intrepid, the ship which brought the Glo 1 cable will depart Ghana to complete the Phase One of the installation in other West African countries including Senegal and Cote Dâ€™Ivoire. Glo also said that the phase 2 of the submarine cable project will connect South Africa through Angola.Globacom started its operation in Nigeria six years ago, while it marked its first anniversary in Republic of Benin in June