April 26, 2018 / 5:42 PM / 25 days ago

Nigeria's Globacom and Huawei to lay undersea fibre cable in Delta oil region

LAGOS, April 26 (Reuters) - Nigerian telecoms company Globacom and China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd are laying an undersea cable that will provide high-speed internet to oil platforms in the country’s Niger Delta region.

The 850 kilometre-long (528 miles) cable, connecting southwestern commercial capital Lagos with the southern Delta region, is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2020, the companies told Reuters in an interview on Thursday at Globacom’s Lagos headquarters.

The Niger Delta, the OPEC member’s oil production heartland, was rocked by attacks by militants on energy facilities that contributed to Nigeria falling into a recession in 2016 since oil sales make up two-thirds of government revenue.

The telecoms firm said it signed the deal on Tuesday.

Globacom, which in 2010 built an international undersea cable connecting Nigeria with Europe, said the new cable would serve companies with offshore oil and gas reserves which experience difficulties transmitting data.

“They are the ones who will really benefit because they are the ones who have to send a huge volume of seismic data,” said Sanjib Roy, Globacom’s regional director on technical matters, adding that communities in the Delta region would also benefit.

Globacom said the cable would be capable of internet speeds of up to 12 terabit per second.

Li Shaowei, deputy managing director of Huawei’s Nigerian unit, said it was providing a “turnkey” solution including the survey, design and installation of the cable.

The companies did not disclose the cost or financing of the project. (Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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