Nigeria’s Globacom has signed a contract with Huawei to build a second fiber optic submarine cable that will run from Lagos to the southern part of Nigeria.
Per an article in This Day, the new cable, to be known as Glo2, is expected to be completed in the next 18 months. It will have 12 Terabit capacity per second and span 850 km, providing last-mile connectivity to businesses and oil companies in southern Nigeria and beyond.
Nigeria has several submarine cables berthed on its shores, but none has the capacity to provide broadband connectivity to the hinterlands, where there is high demand, the report said. “The situation has compelled telecoms subscribers to call for last-mile connectivity that could cushion the effect of the high cost of broadband bandwidth in the hinterlands, as well as the price differential in bandwidth between Lagos and the hinterlands. The Glo 2 optic fiber submarine cable is expected to address those challenges.”
The plan for the Glo 2 project was launched at a contract signing ceremony by Globacom and Huawei. Globacom’s regional director for technical affairs, Sanjib Roy, said the submarine cable would be built along the Nigerian coast from Alpha Beach in Lagos, where the Glo 1 landing station is located, to the Southern part of Nigeria. He said that the cable would contain three fiber pairs, with the first pair connecting Lagos directly to the southern part of Nigeria, with terrestrial extension to other parts of the country for redundancy and maintenance purposes. The second will be equipped with eight switchable Branching Units (BUs), which will deliver high capacity to offshore oil stations and communities connected directly to BUs, while the third pair will be equipped with two switchable branching units to deliver high capacity to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.
The facility will enable a high capacity connection in the south and provide capacity to offshore oil platforms and the communities. Roy said that the Glo 2 project would boost telecom service delivery in the country by providing economic and social capacity to communities in oil producing regions. It will also digitize oil platforms to improve productivity, upload data to remote oil platforms at the speed of light.
Glo2 complements the Glo 1 international submarine cable built by Globacom in 2010, which is the only international submarine cable in Nigeria managed end to end, from Lagos to London, by one company. It currently provides sufficient bandwidth for the West Africa sub-region.
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs has signed a deal with the Vocus Group for the initial stages of a new undersea cable system between the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Australia, displacing Huawei, which had been originally chosen but resulted in concerns over security matters.
Per multiple media reports, a statement from the Vocus Group—which did not mention Huawei—said that the agreement is a $2.8 million deal for conducting a scoping study for the design, construction and procurement of the submarine cable system, the first step of the project. Vocus designed and developed the North-West Cable System and the Australia-Singapore Cable, the latter project was still under construction while the former project was up and running.
As previously reported in WJI, the Solomon Islands and China’s Huawei announced last year that they had signed a contract for the prosubsea ject. That news was not well received as Huawei had been banned from tendering for the National Broadband Network in 2012 because of security concerns. In Australia, nearly six years ago, Huawei was denied any role in supplying equipment to the country’s national broadband network project, following advice by ASIS, one of Australia’s spy agencies.