More Fiber Optic in West Africa

A few months ago, Phase3 Telecoms launched a plan to connect Ghana to Nigeria via Togo and Benin. This week, Phase3 finally signed an agreement with Benin and Togo’s Communauté Electrique du Bénin (CEB), allowing them to lay and operate fiber using the two-country network of powerlines.

In an interview with Russel Southwood of Balancing Act, Phase3 outlines their plans to launch the fibre network in Q2 of 2010. The network will plug into undersea cables in Accra, Cotonou, and Lagos. Phase3 hopes to create a redundant network, allowing their clients to avoid month long outages like the one caused by the SAT-3 cut in Benin in August.

Phase3′s Nigeria clients include GSM and CDMA operators, ISPs, banks, and the government. They hope to attract the same types of customers throughout West Africa, especially once they’re able to connect to the new international cables. They will eventually connect with Burkina Faso and Niger through Benin, and hope to carry traffic from the new undersea cables inland.

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About the author: Theresa Carpenter Sondjo is an entrepreneur and web developer. She lives in Cotonou, where she and her partner run People Online. Their mission is simple: la mise en ligne du Bénin. Follow her on Twitter at @theresac.
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