MainOne gains Côte d’Ivoire licence boosting wholesale connectivity

23 April 2018 | Jason McGee-Abe


MainOne has received a C1B licence allowing it to expand national and international connectivity services in Côte D’Ivoire.

(L-R) Minister for Communication, Digital Economy and Postal Services, Cote D’Ivoire, Minister Bruno Koné; Member, Board of Directors, MainOne, Dapo Oshinusi and Chief Executive Officer, MainOne, Funke Opeke
(L-R) Minister for Communication, Digital Economy and Postal Services, C

ôte D’Ivoire, Minister Bruno Koné; Member, Board of Directors, MainOne, Dapo Oshinusi and Chief Executive Officer, MainOne, Funke Opeke


“Côte d’Ivoire is the largest economy in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and a very important hub for business and transport in west Africa,” said Funke Opeke, chief executive officer of MainOne.

“The dynamism of the national economy and accelerated development of the digital economy in Côte d’Ivoire as well as its regional leadership makes it a natural hub for the west African region and guided MainOne’s decision to invest in Côte d’Ivoire.”

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It will enable the connectivity and data centre solutions operator to land its submarine cable and build transmission infrastructure in Côte d’Ivoire, strengthening connectivity, reducing international capacity costs and supporting wholesale customers, major operators and internet service providers.

As part of an overarching plan to invest close to $20 million in Côte d’Ivoire, with a focus on the provision of wholesale connectivity services, MainOne has obtained the licence and will commence the construction of its digital transmission cable in June 2018, to be concluded in the second half of 2019.

Its cable landing will provide open-access infrastructure within Côte d’Ivoire and other WAEMU countries to expand internet access for all users in the region and support rapid development as well as facilitate increased non-resources trade and improve public services to aid the evolution of regional businesses.

Côte d’Ivoire authorities believe that the construction of a fourth cable authorised by the government will improve the international connectivity of the country and will provide a lot more opportunities for the national market while increasing competition.

MainOne operates a 100G international submarine cable system which guarantees highly reliable connectivity to support the growing demand for internet access and bandwidth-intensive applications. The MainOne submarine cable was the first privately-owned cable in west Africa and spans 7000km with a capacity of 4.96Tbps, connecting West Africa to Europe via a landing in Portugal and multiple routes to London, Paris and Amsterdam.

“We have just taken an important step through this authorisation for the improvement of the telecommunication infrastructure of our country, specifically the improvement of international connectivity. MainOne cable will have an impact on price and quality and will strengthen the security of our infrastructure,” declared Minister Bruno Koné, who gave the licence to Dapo Oshinusi and Funke Opeke of MainOne last week (see picture).

MainOne's CEO added: “By investing and encouraging the business ecosystem within West Africa, we hope to bring meaningful technology solutions to businesses, to enable them in their quest for improved productivity and efficiency through dedicated and reliable connectivity services. We are prepared to collaborate with incumbent operators towards enhancing regional integration and global access.”

Opeke had informed Capacity last July that MainOne was looking to have subsea cable connections to either Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire or Dakar in Senegal, but the company was discussing licences with the authorities in both countries at that time.

The news comes a month after MainOne’s data centre operation MDXI formed a partnership with Avanti to build a Nigerian satellite gateway

Funke Opeke, listed as one of Capacity’s 20 women to watch in telecoms and recognised by industry peers after winning the People’s Choice Award at the 2017 Capacity Africa Awards, will be speaking at ITW on: Enabling Content on the African Continent [Tuesday 8th May - 08:30-11:30: Swiss Tower, Gold Level, Lucerne Ballroom]