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WACS NOW CARRIES TRAFFIC IN NIGERIA

By NBF News
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… powers MTN broadband, B2B solutions
By PRINCE OSUAGWU
Nigeria's road to ubiquitous broadband regime is getting shorter. This is as the country has experienced additional broadband capacity from the level injected by MainOne , Glo1 and SAT3 submarine cables with the announcement that MTN -facilitated West African Cable System, WACS, has started carrying traffic.

MTN Nigeria, at the weekend announced that it has rolled out a bouquet of services running on the new ultra-high capacity submarine cable. The services according to MTN, are being rolled out and managed by MTN Business, a division of the company, focused on business-to-business solutions.

The 17,200 km submarine cable system which MTN was said to have committed over $100m, takes its course from Europe through West Africa to South Africa. It   has 15 established terminal stations along its route, including Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Republic of Congo and Namibia. Incidentally these are countries where MTN has roots.

Although WACS services were made commercially available at launch in South Africa in May, 2012, Chief Enterprise Solutions Officer, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Babatunde Osho, at the weekend revealed that riding on the back of the cable system, the company would now be able to service broadband needs of both SMEs and large Nigerian organizations.

According to him, 'we are now in a position to offer large organizations and SMEs reliable high capacity connectivity for all their needs. We have capacity to provide high quality, low latency internet access to wholesalers such as ISPs, Internet Bandwidth Resellers and Carriers, as well as end-users anywhere in the country.'

Osho also said that WACS' 15 landing stations along its route has put MTN in a vantage position to deliver International Private Leased Circuits to additional locations worldwide. He added that MTN has a unique advantage of a pre-existing extensive terrestrial Internet Protocol (IP) and broadband backbone infrastructure, enabling the company to deliver high grade and highly-available Internet capacity to anywhere and everywhere in Nigeria.

For Osho, there is the belief that WACS would bring the much-needed boost to the growth of many businesses whose requirements for data have continued to be on the rise in the last few years, adding that the coming of WACS is yet another way of MTN keeping its promises.

The West African Cable System (WACS) is a consortium of 11 network operators across 15 countries, including Telkom, Vodacom, MTN, Tata Communications (Neotel), Broadband Infraco, Cable & Wireless, Portugal Telecoms, Congo Telecoms (formerly Sotelco), Telecom Namibia, Togo Telecom, Office Congolais des Postes et Telecommunications (OCPT) and Angola Telecom. But MTN is said to be the single biggest investor in the group.

WACS connects South Africa with the United Kingdom along the West Coast of Africa, landing in South Africa, Namibia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Cape Verde as well as the Canary Islands, Portugal and the United Kingdom.