Phase3 Telecom expands fibre optic cable link in West Africa
WEST Africa’s largest independent fibre optic infrastructure and telecommunications services provider – Phase3 Telecom has announced plans to commence the deployment of aerial fiber optic infrastructure from Kano in Nigeria to Gazaoua in the Republic of Niger.
The network, which will run from Kano state through Katsina state before arriving at Gazaoua will be 228 km long. It is expected to be completed in the coming months.
The Republic of Niger is a landlocked country that borders seven countries; Algeria, Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Libya, Mali, and Nigeria. The lack of backbone infrastructure between the Republic of Niger and its neighbors leaves Niger unable to fully enjoy the broadband advantage to its fullest.
With one of the lowest Internet penetration rates in West Africa, Republic of Niger will now have the opportunity to leverage on the huge bandwidth capacity, which is available at the Nigerian coast in Lagos through the Phase3 telecom aerial fiber network. This development will also widen the market for under-sea cable owners in Nigeria while enhancing broadband development in the Republic of Niger.
This project is expected to enhance and solidify the objectives behind the Nigeria – Niger Joint Commission (NNJC) and the partnership/relationship between the two countries.
Chief Executive Officer, Phase3 Telecom, Stanley Jegede said the opportunities that the Internet delivers are critical to the acceleration of sustainable socio-economic inclusion and growth for the Republic of Niger.
According to him, this will open doors to new opportunities for residents to enjoy the benefits of the Internet, such as being able to work from the comforts of their home or study online.
He stressed that businesses in this region will also be better positioned to use the internet to boost productivity, offer better service, connect with customers faster and work anywhere at reduced costs.
Jegede noted that today, easier and reliable access to information from anywhere drives development thus; “his deployment is part of our wider West Africa roll out plan to deliver regional connectivity through a single network across the region. It is a confirmation of our commitment to ensure that the digital divide diminishes, delivering connectivity to new urban and rural areas.
“I believe that this mile stone is a positive step towards sustainable economic development in West Africa. With the support we have received thus far from both the governments of the Republic of Niger and Nigeria; we are confident that this will mark the first phase in a long term partnership and we look forward to the dividends West Africa as a whole and in particular the Republic of Niger will benefit from the integration of this telecommunication infrastructure.”
Nigeria’s minister of Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson, said: “Africa’s true economic potential will be harnessed by increasing the level of Internet connectivity we currently have. This is one of the many ways to tap into the economic and social benefits Africa has the potential to deliver. The Ministry of Communication Technology and the Federal Government of Nigeria have worked very hard and closely with the Republic of Niger on integrating both countries under a single telecommunications infrastructure and projects like this that will deliver the infrastructure to connect us to our neighbors and the rest of the world is the first step in realizing that vision. Establishing strong and sustainable partnerships across the sub-region will deliver benefits for us all. I am delighted that Phase3 Telecom has the capacity and is delivering a homegrown solution that will deliver significant long term value”.
She explained that the project is being facilitated by the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) through the extension of the Backbone Transmission Infrastructure Program (BTRAIN) programme to Niger.
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