By James Thornton
Ghana Telecommunications has started work on a US$24 million submarine fibre cable project to hook up its grid to an intercontinental cable network. The project promises to tackle infrastructure problems caused by bad weather and earthquakes, in a bid to improve telephone connections within and outside Africa.
Ghana Telecom has begun work on an intercontinental cable project in an effort to improve the country’s telephone links across the globe.
“The project will offer an alternative to our current satellite system which is often disrupted by poor weather conditions,” said project manager, Frank Gyawu.
The $24 million submarine fibre cable project will link the company’s telephone network to 17 African, Asian and European countries including Portugal, India, Malaysia, Nigeria and South Africa.
It is hoped that the new network infrastructure will help turn Ghana Telecom into a telecommunications hub for West African countries. The company is part-owned by Telekom Malaysia, which in 1996 signed a deal with South African Telekom, to build an intercontinental submarine cable.
The new project will include terrestrial and satellite facilities to link 25 landlocked African countries with the submarine cable system.
“This technology will withstand storms and earthquakes, and can accommodate at least 300,000 talking lines at the same time,” said Gyawu.
The cable project is due for completion by 2002, and once finished will mean that calls to and from neighbouring African countries will be direct rather than being routed through Europe.