MainOne’s license in Cote d’Ivoire to crash West Africa’s bandwidth cost
Bandwidth cost in West Africa may crash soon, following an operational license just secured by Nigeria’s MainOne Cables in Cote d’Ivoire.
Bandwidth is the amount of data that could be transmitted within a fixed time frame. For digital devices, bandwidth is usually expressed in bits per second (bps) or bytes per second. For analog gadgets, bandwidth is expressed in cycles per second or Hertz (Hz).
MainOne, which announced that the Cote d ’Ivoire license would enable it to expand national and international connectivity services within the region, said it would invest about $20 million in the region to boost its services.
Its entry into Cote d ’Ivoire is expected to further democratise the international bandwidth market in the country and neighbouring countries and reduce bandwidth costs for local Internet service providers (ISPs), telecoms operators and local businesses.
The move is also expected to crash Internet price, which would result in more people getting connected to the net within the region.
The Guardian learnt that bandwidth cost within the region is still as high as 60 per cent, even as Internet cost Africans 50-100 times more than it cost consumers in Europe, Asia and North America.
It was also learnt that with Cote d ’Ivoire on board, the license is expected to have a multiplier effect in Internet operations in some of the countries in which MainOne operates including Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Togo, Cameroun, Benin, Niger, Senegal and Chad.
MainOne operates a 100G international submarine cable system, which guarantees reliable connectivity to support the growing demand for Internet access and bandwidth-intensive applications such as e-Commerce, Content providers, Over the Top (OTT) players and electronic banking and payment services via 3/4G mobile networks.
According to Cote d ’Ivoire’s Minister for Communication, Digital Economy and Postal Services, Bruno Koné, the C1B license, received from the country, will enable MainOne land its submarine cable and build transmission infrastructure in the country, to strengthen connectivity, reduce international capacity costs and support wholesale customers, major operators and ISPs.
Cote D’Ivoire authorities believe that the construction of a fourth cable authorised by government would improve the country’s international connectivity and provide more opportunities for its market while increasing competition.
“We have just taken an important step through this authorisation for the improvement of the telecommunication infrastructure of our country, specifically the improvement of international connectivity. MainOne Cable will have an impact on price and quality and will strengthen the security of our infrastructure,” Koné stated.
Chief Executive Officer of MainOne, Funke Opeke, noted that Cote D’Ivoire was the largest economy in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and a very important hub for business and transport in West Africa,
“The dynamism of the national economy and accelerated development of the digital economy in Cote D’Ivoire as well as its regional leadership makes it a natural hub for the West African region and guided MainOne’s decision to invest in Cote D’Ivoire,” she added.
Commenting on the development, Kehinde Aluko, described the achievement as a big one for MainOne and Nigeria and urged African governments and regulators to keep up with the deregulation trend.