Niger connects to sea telecoms link

Niger connects to sea telecoms link

FRANKFURT – Germany’s Siemens is building a high-speed, fibre-optic telecoms network to link Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries, to a submarine cable connecting Africa to Spain, Siemens said on Tuesday.

The German industrial conglomerate said it had inaugurated a section of the new network in Niamey, the capital of the landlocked, sub-Saharan nation, under a contract with Sonitel, Niger’s principal telecoms operator. “This will put the country among the major telecommunications players in the region,” Siemens said, adding that the project was part of a wider effort to link Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger to the undersea cable.Niger, whose population is about 13 million, had just 24 000 landline connections and 300 000 mobile phones in 2005, according to the US Central Intelligence Agency’s Website (www.cia.gov).Telecoms operators and equipment makers are keen to crack the continent of Africa, one of the world’s last untapped telecoms markets, where fixed-line infrastructure is patchy and mobile penetration averages 15 per cent.Nampa-Reuters”This will put the country among the major telecommunications players in the region,” Siemens said, adding that the project was part of a wider effort to link Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger to the undersea cable.Niger, whose population is about 13 million, had just 24 000 landline connections and 300 000 mobile phones in 2005, according to the US Central Intelligence Agency’s Website (www.cia.gov).Telecoms operators and equipment makers are keen to crack the continent of Africa, one of the world’s last untapped telecoms markets, where fixed-line infrastructure is patchy and mobile penetration averages 15 per cent.Nampa-Reuters

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