Thursday, 06 December 2012 23:41(JollofNews) – ACE or Africa Coast to Europe submarine cable, has been introduced today to Gambians at a press briefing convened by the Gambia government and the country’s public-private telecommunications services providers.
The ACE consortium, which is led by France Telecom-Orange, is made up of 16 members from Africa and Europe.
The US$700 million cable will ultimately extend over 17,000 km from Brittany in France to Cape Town in South Africa, at depths close to 6,000 metres below sea level, linking Europe to Africa with high-capacity broadband connectivity.
Commenting on this ambitious project, Lamin Camara, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure, said that ACE will result to a ‘broadband development for Gambians and Africans’.
“This will provide affordable and relevant communication solutions,” he said.
“The countries covered by ACE include: Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Senegal.”
The project is poised to add value to business through attractive rates for calls made, access data and a greater international bandwidth.
“This is also going to create an opportunity for a more reliable connectivity. The person sitting in The Gambia will have the same facility with the person sitting in Quebec (Canada),” explained Papa Yusupha Njie, CEO of Unique Solutions.
Far from succumbing to a mere optimism, some entrepreneurs warned that challenges lie ahead as additional efforts are needed in order to bring the bandwidth to Gambians’ doorsteps.
“The investment does not stop here: the most important thing is to take the bandwidth to Gambians,” said Simon P. Abraham, Chief Executive Officer of Netpage.
As the launching is scheduled for December 19 on Gambian soil, expectations are high.
“A reduction in prices for communication service, whether it is mobile phone services, landlines, internet access or data transfer between countries, is what is expected,” said Elizabeth Gomez, a cyber café operator in Serrekunda.
Written by Abdoulie John
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