By Martin Ekpeke
The Chief Executive Officer of Main One Cable, Ms. Funke Opeke has disclosed that all the submarine cables on the coast of West Africa are running less than 20 percent capacity.
Opeke, in an interview with DatacenterDynamics, noted that the glut in capacity is attributed to the lack of carrier-neutral or open access data centers, where everyone can get content, as well as the robust infrastructure to move the traffic across the country and the West Africa region.
“I would argue that all the submarine cables on the West coast of Africa are probably running at 20 percent of capacity or less,” Opeke argued.
She, however, stated that improving connectivity in Africa does not rest solely on laying fiber across the bottom of the ocean, but an orchestrated effort must be made to get other critical infrastructure elements that are missing in the region.
These infrastructures, according to her will be it in terrestrial distribution networks or data networks, with end-user connectivity often requiring 3G or 4G coverage; not to mention data centers, to bring data or content closer to the end-users, and to ensure better performance and an enjoyable experience online.
“We set out to bridge the digital divide by addressing what was perceived to be the most critical infrastructure bottleneck at that time, which was a submarine cable. The realization soon dawned that improving connectivity in West Africa would take more than laying fiber across the bottom of the ocean,” Opeke, who should know said in the interview.
She said the challenges is gradually being ameliorated, as MainOne Cable has started building terrestrial networks, interconnection points, landing stations, and its flagship data center, MDXi, located in Lagos. Today, in addition to connectivity services, MainOne offers collocation, cloud, and managed hosting for business customers across West Africa. Earlier this year, it sets out plans to expand MDXi and to construct another data center, this time in the South Western city of Sagamu.