Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Baring any hitches the Main One submarine cable system with operations centred in sub-Saharan Africa would go commercial July 1, 2010.

Main One seeks to bridge “The Gap” to ensure and provide adequate capacity for effective communications including broadband services (Data, Video & Voice) on the continent and with the rest of the world.

The company promises to reduce the monthly cost of Internet Access in Nigeria which is N7500.00 – N15,000.00/month to N150.00 – N300.00 for equivalent or better services in advanced markets.

Other promises include improving the total capacity in Nigeria which used to be 10Gbps to 960Gbps via Main One to develop a well managed connectivity platform towards the realization of effective Internet telecommunications access across the continent as well as stimulate growth of key economies along the West Coast of Africa through reliable and affordable access to global information resources and markets.

The company said it would deliver world class quality service available with measurable Service Level Agreements (SLAs), while connecting to other cable systems for World wide connectivity.

The pricing strategy according to Main One include Long Term Purchase which would Cost between N75,000.00 – N90,000.00/E1 at STM 1 level at N375,000.00 min, compared to a Cost of N60,000.00 - N7500 at STM4 level at N375,000.00 min.

There are discounts for higher levels onwards connectivity at wholesale prices from global suppliers including Tata Communications and other operators such as Telehouse East, Clear Channel Grooming, IP Transit Services, Service Level Agreement with service credits for outages greater than 30 minutes

Citing World Bank statistics that every $1:00 invested in ICT infrastructure yields more than $6:00 in returns, Main One is set to impact ICT infrastructure, especially Internet access essential for creating new skills and generating growth and technological change across the whole economy from agriculture to finance, and construction to modern services.

The benefits of using Main One include increased access to Internet more than double existing capacity; less than 2% of available capacity deployed, so room for growth; reduced Cost - between 10 – 50% of current prices; matches East Africa where 3 cables are being deployed; facilitate broadband development; more than 1.3% economic growth for every 10% increase in Internet access; business process outsourcing; Proven base to expand and create more jobs in west Africa; and partnership with national and local service providers.

The introduction of Main One's MPLS means that Nigerian traffics could take advantage of the South African routes. (MPLS refers to the technological operation that is more properly known as multi-protocol label switching).

Essentially, MPLS is an operating scheme that is used to speed up the flow of traffic on a network by making better use of available network paths. The main thrust of the idea is to define or designate the proper path for each function so that the opportunity for bottlenecks within the network is minimized) meaning that Nigerian products and businesses and services would be more than ever before be opened to the rest of the world.

Main One cable will create the much needed open access gateways for businesses in countries such as Ghana and Nigeria. This is one project Nigerians should be proud of. There is a direct link between fiber development and the rule of law – a concept that is much needed in Nigeria today to bring about better policing, better government through eGovernment, accountability and peace of mind.

Fiber development could help bring the people of Nigeria together in many ways. This is because when people are directly engaged and talking to each other through emails, blogging, conversation, I-Mail, IM, unified communications, chat messaging, etc, they tend to understand each other better and less suspicious of one another.

Main One cable company will provide wholesale bandwidth capacity to telecom operators and internet service providers in the West African region and beyond.

Main One is offering two broad classes of services. They include Pre-construction uptake contracts (Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU) contracts, which enable customers own rights to a portion of the cable system for fifteen (15) years. Customers subscribing to IRUs enjoy appreciable discounts in addition to the benefits of a capitalized lease rate to acquire and/or own such capacity.

The other is a private leased circuit for customers that are unsure of their future bandwidth demands and are unable to make the significant IRU commitment. Main One will offer private leased circuits, which offer the same technical benefits as IRUs but over a short period of time, ranging from 2 to 5 years. The lease offers were made available early this year, or approximately six months before the cable is ready for service.

According to Main One, the wholesale bandwidth would provide dedicated wholesale capacity on Main One cable SDH network between Lagos (or Accra) to London (Telehouse East/North), as well as between Lagos (Nigeria) and Accra (Ghana).

Main One's speed which ranges from STM1 (i.e. 155Mbps) to STM64 (i.e. 10Gbps) is delivered on Optical or Gigabit Ethernet Interfaces, and has supported services such as International Private Leased Circuit (IPLC), Internet Protocol based wholesale and Internet Access based wholesale.

Concerning inter connection, Main One Cable will provide an interconnection facility at both the Cable landing station (i.e. CLS) and a planned point of Presence (i.e. POP) which will be centrally located and linked to the CLS via a highly resilient and protected fibre network. This is to enable customers interconnect easily their networks to the Main One cable system at the physical layer with no obligations to Main One for network services.

Main One also plans to provide a co-location facility to grant customers access to and use of a portion of real estate (with associated power and environmental conditioning) in Main One cable’s office facilities, for the purpose of locating the backhaul or transmission equipment that the customer will deploy for interconnecting their network to Main One’s.

For reliability and affordability Main One is considered ahead of competition. Its prices are as low as 90% of current market offering, in addition to offering 1.92 terabits to deliver high speed internet capacity; high availability and reliability of service (with in-country world-class Global Network Operations Centre) backed by measurable SLA; monitoring and technical support (24 x 7 x 365); and as well as putting in place strong management team and supplier to ensure on time delivery and system reliability.

Main One's next step is to performed similar efforts from other countries to lead effort to build cable in West Coast of Africa; South Africa, France
as strong opportunity exists to serve additional countries in Africa.

The company has extension plans to have branch units in Ivory Coast, Senegal, Morocco, Canary Islands while extending cable to South Africa and seeking
political support to ensure building multinational companies out of Nigeria.

According to the report, Main Street Technologies and other associates, financiers of the project, have paid US$240m for the 7,000km Cable project which spans from Lagos to Portugal. Essentially, Main One Cable is set to boost communications in Nigeria and application delivery systems in West Africa, as well as unleash unlimited access to information that will help to jump-start the Nigeria's economy and create a true provider-based type networks across West Africa.

The project will make the economy of West Africa much more attractive to the rest of the world with the likes of ATT, Cox Communications, Quest, BellSouth, Bell Canada, Time Warner and Verizon listed as front-runners inclined to invest their time and money in Nigeria just because the hardest part of the job has been done by Main One Cable.

However, the impact of MainOne Cable would not be felt instantly in regards to instant price change, but over time as competition increase and players come on board the anticipated reduced tarrif would be experienced.

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