Cameroon and Gabon have deployed and officially launched a 22km interconnected fibre optic network.
This means telecommunication exchanges between the two countries will be direct and not facilitated through international sub-marine cables, thereby reducing cost.
The network infrastructure was launched on 15 July in Meyo-Kye, Gabon by Cameroon’s Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Minette Libom Li Likeng and Gabon’s Minister of State, Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Edgard Anicet Mboumbou Miyakou.
Ngongeh Ayafor Clement, Technical Director at Cameroon Telecommunications (Camtel), explained the backbone of each country was connected via Kye-Ossi in Cameroon and Bitam in Gabon.
The deployed infrastructure consists of a 96-strand G652 type fibre optic laid underground, with a joint box located on the River Ntem Bridge separating both countries.
“Appropriate measures have been taken to secure this new, latest-generation infrastructure from vandalism. The interconnection has been tested and confirmed technically viable and the availability of service rate stands at nearly 100%, in accordance with ITU standards,” said Clement.
The latest interconnection offers a capacity of approximately 100 Tbps, facilitating e-learning, videoconferencing, e-commerce, telework, telemedicine, file transfer etc.
The development stems from an MoU signed on 28 November 2019 in Libreville between Gabon and Cameroon and forms part of the broader Central African Backbone (CAB) project.
Minister Libom Li Likeng said: “Optic fibre plays a vital role in sub-regional integration. That is why we are investing in joint projects…their deployment [fibre optic] has grown, offering new opportunities in areas related to health, education, online banking and administration, social networking and internet telephony.”
The infrastructure is expected to increase ICT adoption and reduce the digital divide, improve quantitatively and qualitatively offer of digital services at reduced cost and foster sub-regional integration.