ALU Completes Ghana Rural Fibre Backbone

Alcatel-Lucent has successfully completed Ghana's Eastern corridor rural fibre optic backbone project which opens up communications across a wide swathe of rural Ghana.

The project significantly expands communication links between Ghana's coast and its northern border with Burkina Faso. The optical backbone will also improve communications links for central and regional administration offices, in support of the national 'e-Ghana' Program initiative. The Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) provided finance for the project.

The Eastern corridor fibre optic backbone network designed and deployed by Alcatel-Lucent spans 775km, linking Ghana's north and south as well as international submarine gateways via its eastern corridor. It serves major towns such as Ho, Kpando, Jasikan, Nkwanta, Bimbila, Yendi, Tamale, Gushiegu and Bawku as well as 23 smaller communities.

Using Alcatel-Lucent's agile optical networking based on the 1830 Photonic Service Switch with 100G technology, the network will enable new business efficiencies, providing high-speed data links between central government offices and remote regional locations. It will maintain quality and reliability telecommunications, email and Internet-based services, with the ability to expand to support e-services in health, education, justice, immigration, parliament and other sectors.

Alcatel-Lucent has also provided computing and storage infrastructure for two data centres including help desk infrastructure, a performance management and rating system and an e-Learning Management System. Alcatel-Lucent will continue to manage network operations for Ghana's entire 'e-government' infrastructure until 2016.

The project is part of an agreement signed in 2012 between Alcatel-Lucent and NITA (National Information Technology Agency), the ICT policy arm of Ghana's Ministry of Communications. John Dramani Mahama, the President of Ghana, was among the local and national dignitaries who attended a ceremony on 18 May at the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ho.

William Tevie, Director General of NITA said: "The new eastern corridor optical backbone network will offer a great number of direct socio-economic benefits for the communities within the catchment areas of this project. It will, for example, attract new business, offer teaching and learning opportunities as well as telemedicine and new e-health services. It will help us to bridge the digital divide between rural and urban locations and create employment, allowing us to take an important step toward realising the vision of giving our people access to a range of critical services how and when they need them."

Commenting at the ceremony, Daniel Jaeger, Vice-President, Alcatel-Lucent in Africa said: Through technology and innovation this project will help change the way people live, work and communicate, providing an important platform for sustainable growth and development. Alcatel-Lucent has long-standing expertise in IP transport and we are delighted to be a part of this project to support Ghana's government initiative in continuously improving communications services for the country. The new network will be a catalyst for change to accelerate the development of rural areas in the country. Indeed every success has its network."

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